Handwashing is never enough: 50 now sick with Salmonella from chicks in Canada

Sure, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux own 17 chickens, but they’re celebrities, so their poop don’t stink: The Public Health Agency of Canada says contact with live poultry can be a source of Salmonella, even if a bird appears healthy and clean.

jen-aniston-800You can get Salmonella from a bird, its droppings or from environments where birds have been. Proper hand washing is the key to protecting yourself from illness. Always wash your hands immediately after handling birds, cleaning up after them or being in an area where birds have been.

Currently there are 50 cases of Salmonella illness in four provinces: Alberta (27), British Columbia (18), Saskatchewan (4), and Manitoba (1). Eight people have been hospitalized, and all individuals have recovered or are recovering. Individuals became sick between April 5 and May 30, 2015, and all have reported contact with live baby poultry including chicks, turkey poults and goslings. Many individuals reported purchasing live poultry by mail-order or from feed supply storefronts for backyard flocks to produce eggs or meat. Poultry varieties commonly reported include: broiler chickens (meat birds) such as Cornish Giants; egg layers; dual-purpose breeds and turkeys. Traceback investigations have indicated that these birds were ordered from Miller Hatcheries and Rochester Hatchery catalogues. Both catalogues ship birds supplied by a single hatchery in Alberta.