Three people have died in a tainted meat scandal in four provinces

Health officials in Prince Edward Island say one case of COVID-19 has been reported in Ontario.

The number of residents who have died in provinces affected by the presence of tainted meat is still unknown. Since tests began, 11 people have died in New Brunswick; six in Saskatchewan; five in Manitoba; one in Alberta; two in Nova Scotia; one in British Columbia; one in Alberta; one in Ontario; one in Newfoundland and Labrador; and one in Saskatchewan. All deaths have been linked to the presence of CTE-19.

The meat was killed by a meat-cleaning chemical called ammonium hydroxide, known on the market as ACP. It is relatively inexpensive, used in the meat-cleaning process for 25 years, but after Consumer Reports raised concern about possible health risks associated with the chemicals, some supermarkets stopped using them.

Health officials in Saskatchewan have recalled ACP-18, 31ACP, OX28 and PAL24 — aseptic processing room liquids — because of the deaths. The local health authority said Thursday that the method does not allow ACP to dissolve for 10 days after contamination, so it will continue to recommend that it not be used for either at home cleaning or cooking. The Saskatchewan Health Authority said in a release that new cases of mesothelioma could happen if people who died before drinking ACP-18 used the food last year.

In Canada, five of the deaths are occurring in Saskatchewan, five in Alberta, one in British Columbia, and one in Ontario.

The companies producing the meat products have changed their methods to prevent the presence of ACP, but the substance remains the primary cause of the illnesses. The only recalled ingredient was the meat-cleaning solution itself, so health officials in Saskatchewan are still advising consumers to avoid eating meat, even though it has been non-contaminated.

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