06/02/2014 04:16 EDT | Updated 08/02/2014 05:59 EDT

Chia seed salmonella outbreak prompts B.C. recall

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has issued a warning involving nine reported cases of salmonella infection linked to the consumption of dried, sprouted Chia seed powder.

Six of the cases are from British Columbia, one is from Alberta and two are from Quebec. Health Canada says the risk to Canadians is low. No deaths have been reported, but one person has been hospitalized.

Sprouted chia seed powder is made from ground, dried chia seeds.

The contamination was uncovered by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak.

A Health Canada advisory says the recall involves sprouted chia seeds from Advantage Health Matters under the brands, Organic Traditions and Back 2 the Garden.

It says these products are currently being removed from the market.

A similar recall was issued in Alberta last week.

The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also investigating similar cases of salmonella, and have recalled three sprouted chia seed powder products linked to their investigation.

Salmonella facts: who is at risk?


Anyone can become sick from salmonellosis, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are less robust.

Most people who become ill from salmonellosis will recover fully after a few days. It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but still be able to spread the infection to others.

What you should do

These products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s home. If you have these brands of dried sprouted chia seed powder products in your home, do not eat them. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

If you are unsure about the source of your sprouted chia seed product, do not consume it. Secure it in a plastic bag and throw it out. Then wash your hands thoroughly in warm soapy water.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. If you suspect you became ill from eating a recalled product or another sprouted chia seed product, talk to your health care provider.


Symptoms of a salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start six to 72 hours after exposure to a contaminated product.

Symptoms include:

- Diarrhea

- Fever

- Abdominal cramps

- Nausea

- Vomiting

- Chills

- Headache

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, Salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. People who experience severe symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a salmonella infection.