As you are aware, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a national food recall regarding certain ready-to-eat deli meat products that may contain Listeria monocytogenes. I am reinforcing the request already made by your local public health unit to exercise diligence in ensuring that any of the products in this recall that may be at your facility are correctly identified and thrown out. The CFIA is maintaining the list of affected products as well as any updates or clarifications and I strongly recommend that you visit their website daily for the duration of this outbreak for up-to-date information and clarifications. (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/) Listeria can cause Listeriosis, a serious but rare illness that in certain cases can lead to brain infection and even death. The elderly, newborns, pregnant women and those who have a weakened immune system are most susceptible to developing Listeriosis. Listeriosis is caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Listeria can be found in unpasteurized (raw) dairy products, raw vegetables and uncooked meats. Foods can also be contaminated after processing, such as hot dogs, cold cuts or deli meats. Unlike most other harmful bacteria, Listeria will grow on foods stored in a refrigerator. Foods that are contaminated with Listeria look, smell and taste normal. Listeria bacteria are not commonly passed from person to person. Listeriosis is a Reportable Disease under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Symptoms of Listeriosis may start suddenly and include: vomiting, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, severe headache, constipation or fever. Some infections become severe and develop into an infection of the brain or the lining of the brain and blood poisoning. Some people experience only mild flu-like symptoms. Symptoms can occur from 3 to 70 days after eating foods contaminated with Listeria. Sustained vigilance and ongoing diligence in inspecting food supplies can prevent the further spread of listeria infection. I am confident that your direct efforts regarding this food recall will benefit your patients and clients and help to contain the Listeriosis outbreak in Ontario.