A Couche Tard sign in Montreal.

A Couche Tard sign in Montreal.

Sometimes, in a moment of desperate hunger or simply convenience, we buy those weird, slightly off-putting sandwiches at the dep. Unfortunately for Quebecers everywhere, some of these sandwiches are contaminated by listeria, a disease-causing bacteria. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced a class one recall on 14 types of sandwich sold at Couche Tards across the province. But what does that actually mean?

What's a class one recall in Canada and what does it mean?

A class one recall is the highest level of recall available for products as defined by the government of Canada. There are three tiers of recall severity, ranging from type three, where no risk to health is predicted, to type one, where there is "a reasonable probability" that exposure to or use of a product might cause "serious adverse health consequences."

In the case of bacterial contamination like listeria or another harmful and dangerous substance, the label of "class one" is used, as is the case for these unfortunate sandwiches.

Which Couche Tard products are being recalled?

The products being recalled are a variety of sandwiches sold and distributed by Couche Tard across Quebec. To check if your sandwich is included in the recall, verify its identification info with those provided on this site. Here's the list of potentially contaminated sandwich flavours at a glance:

  • Mexican Chicken Wrap
  • Chicken Caesar Pita with Bacon
  • Pizza Submarine
  • Ham and Swiss Cheese Croissant
  • Chicken Salad Club
  • Ham Salad Club
  • Chicken Caesar Salad with Bacon
  • Three Meats Submarine
  • South-Western Steak Submarine
  • Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
  • Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
  • Bourbon Beef Wrap
  • BLD Club Wrap
  • Egg Salad

Why are these items being recalled?

The Couche Tard sandwiches are being recalled for listeria contamination. Listeriamonocytogenes is the bacteria that cause Listeriosis, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. According to the CDC, it is more harmful to certain risk groups: pregnant women, those older than 65 and newborns.

For now, if you see any of the listed sandwiches out and about in the world, don't feed them to your grandparents, pregnant spouse or baby, if you can help it.

What should I do with the recalled products?

In this case, it's best to simply dispose of the sorry sandwiches. Couche Tards across Quebec are also getting rid of their stock to ensure no one is put at risk. You can also bring the recalled item back to where you purchased it.

Listeria is a silent contaminant, so food containing the bacteria often looks and smells fine, not to freak you out. If you think you may have eaten a recalled sandwich, it's important to contact your health care provider to make sure you don't get sick.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently on the case, and will make sure no other products sold by Couche Tard are contaminated.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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