5 sick; E. coli cases in Alberta but no link to beef recall, officials say

Alberta Health Services is investigating four cases of E. coli poisoning in the Edmonton area and one case in Calgary.

“We always investigate E. coli. That’s standard process when we get a case of E. coli,” AHS spokesman Kerry Williamson said.

“We’re not linking it whatsoever to the (beef) recall. Our investigation is about finding the potential source.”

This week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced a recall of ground beef and ground-beef products that were manufactured at an Alberta plant and sold at major retailers including Safeway, Wal Mart, Superstore, Sobeys and Costco.

Concerned about possible contamination of E. coli O157: H7 at its processing facility in Brooks, XL Foods alerted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and issued the voluntary recall.

The Edmonton-area E. coli cases were reported recently to the health authority, and the investigation into the Calgary case began Monday.

CTV News in Calgary is reporting that a four-year-old girl became sick from eating tainted beef patties on Labour Day, according to the girl’s family. The family of Sarah Demoskoff told CTV that doctors said Sarah’s illness was linked to the beef recall.