Canadian health officials said up to 12 people died from an infection caused by eating spoiled meat.
Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Monday in Ottawa that six of the deaths could be clearly linked to a listeriosis infection, the remaining six cases were still being investigated, the dpa reported.
Listeriosis is a relatively rare bacterial infection. Canadian health officials said spoiled meat used in ready-made meat products was responsible for the outbreak.
Health officials were now investigating all cases possibly linked to listeriosis.
At least 26 people were infected, the Canadian C-TV television reported. Another 29 suspected cases were being investigated, but owing to the illness's long incubation period of 70 days more cases are possible, news reports said.
Maple Leaf, a Toronto-based company, which sold the contaminated meat, pulled more than 200 meat products off the market.