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Mom believes chicken strips from P.E.I. store led to son’s lengthy illness

Charlottetown's Sheila Cormier and her son Tyler pose in front of the Atlantic Superstore in Charlottetown where chicken she claims caused Tyler food poisoning was purchased.
Charlottetown's Sheila Cormier and her son Tyler pose in front of the Atlantic Superstore in Charlottetown where chicken she claims caused Tyler food poisoning was purchased.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Sheila Cormier of Charlottetown says her son, Tyler, is still suffering ill effects more than one month after food poisoning.

The 18-year-old became sick roughly eight hours after eating President’s Choice chicken strips on Aug. 21.

Cormier says her son has cooked the chicken strips many times in the past and believes he had a bad batch and not that he undercooked the meat.

At first, she felt Tyler simply had the flu. However, after the teen experienced for over two days fever, severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, weakness, chills, headaches and on one occasion even passing out, Cormier took Tyler to the hospital.

Tyler was diagnosed with food poisoning. Ill effects, says mom, still persist five weeks after the teen first became sick.

She adds her son has lost 15 pounds and still has dizziness, headaches and stomach pains.

Tyler is in his first year at Holland College, taking business administration. He has, to date, successfully managed to avoid missing classes, but it has been a struggle.

“In the mornings, he finds it a lot harder to get up,’’ says Cormier. “His energy is pretty bad.’’

Cormier is angry with Loblaws, which owns Atlantic Superstore, for dismissing her claim that something must have been wrong with the chicken.

She has not been offered any compensation for the hardship her son has endured or for her missing a week of work as a personal support worker with a nursing home.

Cormier says she cannot afford to take legal action.

“I would like to,’’ she adds.

Mark Boudreau, director of corporate affairs with Loblaw Atlantic, says the company has been in contact with both Cormier and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

“At this point, we have been unable to link the illness with the product through tests from our vendor or the CFIA,’’ he says.

“Typically the CFIA would notify us if there was any concern or if we were required to take any action. We have communicated this to the customer, and are disappointed we haven’t been able to resolve her concerns…food safety is a top priority at our stores, and we strive not only to meet but exceed all food safety requirements.’’

Boudreau adds there have been no other reported complaints about the product.

Cormier chose to go public with the story to let people know how Loblaws, in her view, treated her quite poorly.

“I just feel the public should know,’’ she says.

 

Jim.Day@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/PEIGuardian

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