OICC call #3

Day 28: Thursday, June 4 (n=16)

  • Two new isolates were added to this cluster (2005NEWWGS-1ON-MP) in PulseNet Canada’s weekly WGS summary reports posted to CLSN. This brings the confirmed case count to sixteen.  
  • You provide a summary of the results from the focused questionnaires to OICC members:
    • Chia seeds appear to be the most consistently reported exposure with all six of the re-interviewed cases reporting eating chia seeds.
    • The other suspect food items, blueberries, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, and flax seeds were reported by three or fewer cases.
    • Two British Columbia cases (BC-15 and BC-16) reported purchasing chia seeds at Healthy Lifestyle Emporium – in two different store locations. One of the cases (BC-15) recalls the brand of chia seeds purchased, “Smile” and the local public health authority is working to collect the remaining product as a sample. Another British Columbia case (BC-11) also reported consumption of chia seeds, but could not recall brand or purchase location.
    • One Ontario case (ON-14) also identified “Smile” brand products, including pumpkin, flax, and chia seeds. Another Ontario case (ON-08) reported purchasing chia seeds at a local independent grocery store. The local health authority is following up with the store to determine what brands of chia seeds are offered there.
    • One Alberta case (AB-10) reported purchasing a different line of seed and nut products from the “Nature’s Planet” brand. They purchased chia seeds, almonds, flax seeds, and hemp hearts from this brand. Local public health investigators are working to collect the remaining chia seed product as a sample.
  • CFIA explains that they will conduct traceback with this information to see if there is a connection between the mentioned brands and a common supplier. They also request that all provinces send pictures of the chia seed products from cases’ homes, where possible, that show all details (e.g., exact product name, lot code/ best before date) on the packaging.

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