Canadians are getting sick because they won't cook nuggets

Chicken nuggets are a basic food, often seen on kids' menus. — Picture by K.E.Ooi
Chicken nuggets are a basic food, often seen on kids' menus. — Picture by K.E.Ooi

OTTAWA, March 31 — Hundreds of Canadians are getting sick from eating chicken nuggets and other breaded chicken products. Why? Apparently Canadians haven't figured out you actually have to cook the things.

According to CBC News, 566 people had been diagnosed with salmonella infections since May 2017. Robin Horel, president of the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council said that due to the products looking "different" from the standard raw chicken product, customers don't realise the health risks involved.

95 of those infected were sick enough they needed to be hospitalised, and three with salmonella infections have died.

The trend is worrying enough that Canada's Public Health Agency even issued a statement concerning the dangers of not cooking frozen breaded chicken products properly.

Even with labels stating the products need to be cooked and not just popped into the microwave, the risk remains as many consumers tend to eschew reading labels.

Thus Canada's food regulators found they had no choice but to give manufacturers an ultimatum: to change how they processed their products to ensure no salmonella were in breaded chicken products sold in grocery stores.

Since it is difficult to make that happen with raw meat involved, by April 1 next year, all frozen breaded chicken products will contain cooked meat. But food establishments will be allowed to use frozen, uncooked products as they have the expertise and proper knowledge of how to treat them.

It's baffling that such a simple thing could prove to be such a health risk, but alas. That is why regulations need to exist - to save us from the human propensity of not reading labels.

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