Wagners Investigates Salmonella Class Action

In March 2021, Wagners started to investigate a possible Salmonella contamination class proceeding against Hilly Acres.  On October 8, 2020 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall warning regarding various eggs originating from Hilly Acres from Millville, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Since October 2020 there have 64 confirmed cases of Salmonella: 26 in Newfoundland and Labrador and 38 in Nova Scotia[1]. This has resulted in nineteen individuals being hospitalized.

What is a Class Action?

A class action lawsuit is a complex lawsuit that requires specific legal procedures to be followed. At Wagners, we undertake various different types of class action lawsuits in Halifax, the Maritimes and throughout Canada. We understand the level of care and investigation that is needed in order to properly represent our clients. We have strong partnerships with other firms throughout Canada and a strong reputation as trial lawyers.

Advantages of Class Actions

The key advantage of a class action lawsuit is that it is a cost-effective way for many people to have their claims determined in a single lawsuit (instead of as multiple individual lawsuits). Class actions make the judicial system available to those who otherwise would not be able to afford to make a claim on an individual basis.

Experienced Lawyers For Canadian Class Action Lawsuits

At Wagners, our class action lawyers in Halifax have experience handling claims in multiple legal areas, including:

What is Salmonella and What are its Effects?

Salmonella, called salmonellosis, is a bacteria that can cause an infection to humans with the following symptoms:[2]

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Symptoms usually last for 4 to 7 days, however, others can have symptoms for weeks. Notably, dehydration is one of the major concerns. However, if Salmonella enters the blood stream it can effect the bodies tissue[3]:

  • The tissues surrounding your brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • The lining of your heart or valves (endocarditis)
  • Your bones or bone marrow (osteomyelitis)
  • The lining of blood vessels, especially if you’ve had a vascular graft

Additionally, others can develop reactive arthritis, also known as Reiter’s syndrome, which causes[4]:

  • Eye irritation
  • Painful urination
  • Painful joints

Those infected with Salmonella can be infectious and pass on the bacteria for a period of several days to several weeks.  Those at the most risk are children, elderly, pregnant women, and those will a compromised immune system. Some individuals will not need any treatment whereas others will need antibiotics or require hospitalization.

Protecting Yourself from Salmonella

The Public Health Agency of Canada advises the following in regard to handling and eating eggs to protect yourself from Salmonella[5]:

  • Always handle raw eggs carefully and cook eggs and egg-based foods to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked eggs. Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm.
  • When purchasing eggs, choose only refrigerated eggs with clean, uncracked shells.
  • Always wash your hands before and after you touch raw eggs. Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Eggs (whether raw or cooked) should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours. Eggs that have been at room temperature for more than two hours should be thrown out.
  • Use pasteurized egg products instead of raw eggs when preparing foods that aren’t heated (such as icing, eggnog or Caesar salad dressing).
  • Do not taste raw dough, batter or any other product containing raw eggs. Eating even a small amount could make you sick.
  • Microwave cooking of raw eggs is not recommended because of the possibility of uneven heating.
  • Sanitize countertops, cutting boards and utensils before and after preparing eggs or egg-based foods. Use a kitchen sanitizer (following the directions on the container) or a bleach solution (5 mL household bleach to 750 mL of water), and rinse with water.
  • Do not re-use plates, cutting boards or utensils that have come in contact with raw eggs unless they have been thoroughly washed, rinsed and sanitized.
  • Use paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces, or change dishcloths daily to avoid the risk of cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria. Avoid using sponges as they are harder to keep bacteria-free.
  • Do not prepare food for other people if you think you are sick with a Salmonella infection or suffering from any other contagious illness causing diarrhea.

Chronology of Events:

On October 8, 2020, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), issued a Food Recall Warning. The CFIS advised that Hilly Acres from Millville, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was recalling eggs from the marketplace in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia due to possible Salmonella contamination. This included various brands with code dates between September 2, and October 31, 2020, such as Farmer John Eyking, Eyking Delite, Compliments, None, No name, Maritime Pride, Nova Eggs, Nova Eggs Eggsquite, Nova Eggs Ultra, and Great Value. [6]

October 9, 2020, the CFIA issued an Updated Food Recall Warning. The CFIS advised that the previous recall was being updated to include additional products that had been distributed to Newfoundland and Labrador and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Hilly Acres was recalling eggs from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. This included “Only eggs from Hilly Acres Farm with best before dates from September 2, 2020 to October 31, 2020 inclusively where the lot code contains “38” or “N38” or where there is no lot code on the package are implicated by the recall.” [7]

On March 18, 2021, The Public Health Agency of Canada  (PHAC) issues an updated notice to the Salmonella outbreak.  The PHAC reported that are now 64 confirmed cases of Salmonella: 26 in Newfoundland and Labrador and 38 in Nova Scotia [8]. This has resulted in nineteen individuals being hospitalized


[1] https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/public-health-notices/2021/outbreak-salmonella-infections-eggs.html

[2] https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/public-health-notices/2021/outbreak-salmonella-infections-eggs.html#a3

[3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salmonella/symptoms-causes/syc-20355329

[4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salmonella/symptoms-causes/syc-20355329

[5] https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/public-health-notices/2021/outbreak-salmonella-infections-eggs.html#a3

[6] https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/inspection/2020/74099r-eng.php

[7] https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/inspection/2020/74111r-eng.php

[8] https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/public-health-notices/2021/outbreak-salmonella-infections-eggs.html

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