Frozen chicken nuggets and strips and eggs are leading risk factors for Salmonella Heidelberg infections in Canada
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A case-control study was conducted from 1 January to 31 May 2003 to identify risk factors for S . Heidelberg infection in Canada. Controls were pair-matched by age group and telephone exchange to 95 cases. Exposures in the 7 days before illness/interview were assessed using multivariate conditional logistic regression. Consumption of home-prepared chicken nuggets and/or strips [matched odds ratio (mOR) 4.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4-13.8], and undercooked eggs (mOR 7.5, 95% CI 1.5-75.5) increased the risk of illness. Exposure to a farm setting lowered the risk (mOR 0.22, 95% CI 0.03-1.00). The population-attributable fraction associated with chicken nuggets/strips was 34% and with undercooked eggs was 16%. One-third of study participants did not perceive, handle or prepare chicken nuggets and strips as high-risk products, although the majority of the products on the Canadian market are raw. These findings have prompted changes in product-labelling policy and consumer education.
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