August 29, 2008 / 5:07 PM / in 9 years

One death linked to salmonella outbreak

OTTAWA (Reuters) - One person has died and 87 are sick with salmonella food poisoning from tainted cheese in Quebec, health officials said on Friday.

The outbreak comes amid consumer alarm over a massive recall by Maple Leaf Foods Inc of ready-to-eat meats. An outbreak of listeriosis food poisoning from deli meats produced at the company’s Toronto plant has been linked to the deaths of 15 people.

Quebec public health director Horacio Arruda said the salmonella outbreak had no connection to the Maple Leaf case. Three brands of cheese manufactured by Fromages La Chaudiere Inc. were being recalled after an unusually high number of salmonellosis cases were reported.

“There was one fatality and 40 percent of the cases were hospitalized,” Arruda told reporters in Montreal in a televised news conference.

La Chaudiere is a small family-run business that sells cheese and other dairy products in Quebec only.

The brands of cheese recalled are La Chaudiere, Polo and Tradition, bought between July 24 and August 24, the health agency said in a statement.

Salmonella bacteria are a common cause of food poisoning, resulting in fever, chills, diarrhea and dehydration. Children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson

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