The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (FIA) has announced a recall of a range of products containing sprouted chia seed powder over concerns about a possible Salmonella contamination. The initial recall warning was issued on May 30 but it was expanded to include other products on June 4, the agency said.
The move followed announcements by food supplement retailers Advantage Health Matters and Back 2 the Garden, which said they were withdrawing a series of products containing dried sprouted organic chia seed powder. So far, 15 cases of Salmonella in Ontario and nine cases of the disease in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have been linked to consumption of the powder, the FIA said.
Cases of Salmonella connected to sprouted chia products have also been registered in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. As of June 2, 17 people in 10 different states had been affected by the outbreak, with two of them admitted to hospital for treatment. Of those sickened, 12 people were infected with the Salmonella Newport strain and five more suffered from Salmonella Hartford.
Health officials in the United States and Canada warn consumers that food products can be contaminated with Salmonella but still not smell or look spoiled. The disease is not dangerous to healthy adults but can have serious consequences for young children, pregnant women and the elderly, as well as for people with compromised immune systems.