1 dead, 36 sick with E. coli O157:H7 in Canada, linked to pork from meat shop in central Alberta

Keith Gerein of the Edmonton Journal writes The Meat Shop at Pine Haven, located on a Hutterite colony southeast of Wetaskiwin, announced Wednesday it had temporarily shut down and issued a voluntary recall of a number of its raw and ready-to-eat pork products.

A full list of the recalled items, including ground pork, chops, sausages, bacon and salami, was available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.

The products in question were sold or distributed by the shop between Feb. 19 and April 24, and included pork served by Mama Nita’s Binalot restaurant where the outbreak was first identified a month ago.

“This is our businesses, it’s our livelihood and the food safety of our products to consumers is the highest priority,” facility manager Tim Hofer said. “It’s a very difficult time for us, but we are doing the best we absolutely can to identify the problem, and once we have found it, to mitigate the risks. “

All 36 patients sickened by E. coli O157:H7 have been linked in one way or another to meat from the shop, said Dr. Jasmine Hasselback, medical officer of health, Edmonton zone, for Alberta Health Services.

Hasselback said tracing the bug’s origins proved to be complex and time-consuming, requiring nearly a month of detective work by public health officials.

The initial cluster of five infections was discovered in late March among patrons of the restaurant, but investigators were hampered by the fact the establishment used different meat suppliers. As well, it appeared not all of the infected patients had eaten pork.

“When you are looking at foods people ate at the restaurant, there actually wasn’t a consistent pattern at that time,” Hasselback said. “It wasn’t until we were able to start adding information regarding the individuals who were not linked to the restaurant that pork was able to come a little bit clearer.”

Of the 36 patients identified to date, 21 are believed to have acquired their infection at Mama Nita’s — including several staff. The remaining 15 cases, including the deceased patient, have no connection to the restaurant.

Hasselback said those additional cases gave public health staff more information to work with, but also more variables to consider.

She said investigations of food-borne outbreaks tend to rely on three major avenues of inquiry.

These include interviews with patients to explore what they have eaten and where they have travelled, and lab tests to link the cases of E. coli 0157:H7. As well, investigators gather samples of food that are possibly suspect and have those tested in a lab.

Hofer said his meat facility has supplied products to “dozens” of customers in the Edmonton area — including Mama Nita’s — though he didn’t have an exact number.

He said the business was informed last Wednesday of a potential connection to the outbreak. When managers learned swabs of certain products had tested positive, along with one swab of the facility itself, the operation was shut down.

“The first thing we did was a deep clean of the facility, from ceiling to everything, all scrubbed and sanitized,” Hofer said, adding that a thorough review of the facility’s procedures has begun.

The family-run business has been operation since 2004 and has never before had a contamination issue, he said.

Good luck with the lawyers, who have already filed a $15-million lawsuit against The Meat Shop.

The lawsuit is on behalf of people who suffered damages as a result of buying or consuming pork products that may have been contaminated with E. coli, the law firm of James H. Brown & Associates said.

Risk is not low if cause is not known: 5, then 19, now 34 sick and 1 dead sick in E. coli outbreak linked to Edmonton restaurant

If the E. coli-romaine lettuce made it to an Alaskan prison, maybe it made it to an Edmonton restaurant.

Just asking.

According to the Toronto Star, one person has died and more than 30 people have fallen ill following an E. coli outbreak that Alberta Health Services has called “extremely complex” to investigate.

In a statement, AHS says it has expanded its investigation into the source of an outbreak of E. coli, beyond cases directly linked to an Edmonton restaurant late last month.

While 21 of these lab-confirmed cases are linked to Mama Nita’s Binalot restaurant in Edmonton, AHS no longer has public health concerns related to the restaurant.

The number of lab-confirmed cases of E. coli has increased to 34, including 11 patients who have needed hospital care, and one patient who has died likely due to E. coli infection.

“This outbreak is extremely complex, however AHS, in partnership with other provincial and federal agencies, is doing all we can to protect the health of Albertans,” said Dr. Chris Sikora, a medical officer of health in the Edmonton zone, in a statement. “The risk of illness remains very low.”

AHS has not yet identified the source of these cases, but believes they are linked to the initial outbreak.

The risk is not low if the cause is not known.

AHS has worked closely with the owners of Mama Nita’s Binalot since it was identified that a cluster of people with lab-confirmed E. coli ate at the restaurant. AHS says the owners have taken significant steps to manage this issue, including voluntarily closing until AHS was confident the restaurant could reopen without presenting a risk to the public.

First it was 5, now 19 sick in E. coli outbreak linked to Edmonton restaurant

The number of people sickened with E. coli after eating at a southeast Edmonton restaurant has climbed to 19, including two who have developed symptoms serious enough to be admitted to hospital, Alberta Health Services said Thursday.

That’s a jump of 13 cases from a week ago, when the health authority announced the discovery of the first cluster of infections among people who ate at Mama Nita’s Binalot restaurant.

Keith Gerein of the Edmonton Journal reports it’s believed at least some of those new cases are among restaurant staff.

Patrons were infected with E. coli O157:H7, which can produce diarrhea that may be bloody.

Public health officials are warning anyone who has dined at Mama Nita’s since March 15 to see a doctor if they have symptoms, and mention they may have been exposed to E. coli.

A spokesperson for the restaurant could not be reached for comment.

Here’s a comment: Use a fucking thermometer.

‘I was really scared for him’ 4-year-old among Edmonton E. coli outbreak

A four-year-old boy has had a rough go since contracting E. coli at a south Edmonton Filipino restaurant two weeks ago.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) said at least five people were infected with E. coli after eating at Mama Nita’s Binalot since March 15.

Angela Jung & Diego Romero of CTV Edmonton report a local family says they all got sick after eating there on March 18, but their youngest, Shawn, was the only one diagnosed.

“First, he started having cramps the most, but we all felt off,” his father, Jason Patterson, said. “I was afraid; I was really scared for him.”

His parents said he had cramps, looked pale, lacked an appetite, and had blood in his stool. He went to the hospital four times.

“It’s very heartbreaking to watch him cry in so much pain and going to the washroom every 5-15 minutes,” Shawn’s mother, Melanie Salas-Patterson, told CTV News.

Hepatitis A case at 2 Edmonton-area Edo restaurants

Alberta Health Services is warning customers of two Edmonton-area Edo Japan restaurants that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

hep.aedo-japanAHS said it confirmed a case of the infection in a food handler who works at two Edo restaurants in the Capital Region – the Manning Town Centre location in Edmonton and the Tudor Glen Market location in St. Albert.

People who consumed food from the above locations between June 13 and 18, 2016 and June 21 and 28, 2016 may have been exposed to hepatitis A, AHS said Tuesday afternoon.

“While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection,” Dr. Joanna Oda, medical officer of health with the AHS Edmonton Zone, said.

Hepatitis A can be spread through the fecal-oral route, direct contact with an infected person or by ingesting contaminated food or water. If an infected person does not property wash his or her hands after using the washroom, the virus can be transmitted through food and beverages prepared by the infected individual.

Anyone who ate food from either Edo location is urged to monitor themselves and their family members for symptoms of hepatitis A until Aug. 17. 


24 sick with E. coli in Edmonton; sprouts link suspected

Thanks to the reporting of Coral Beach of The Packer, that E. coli outbreak in Edmonton, Alberta (that’s in Canada), is possibly linked to fresh bean sprouts from a local grower, according to a public health official.

Bean_sproutsThe Alberta Health Services issued a public warning Aug. 1 about E. coli, but did not name a grower and no recall has been issued.

As of Aug. 1, officials had confirmed 24 E. coli cases in the Edmonton area in the previous two weeks, according to multiple media reports. Calls to the Alberta Health Services were not immediately returned.

Dr. Christopher Sikora, lead medical officer for the Edmonton zone of the Alberta Health Services, is quoted by newspaper and radio reports as saying 21 of the sick people reported eating fresh bean sprouts before becoming ill. Five of the people had to be hospitalized.

“There is likely no ongoing risk to the public,” Sikora told the Edmonton Journal newspaper. “There is a single Edmonton-based producer for sprouts and we’re still investigating at this point in time. We may or may not find out the reason for the contamination.”

Salmonella Enteritidis infections associated with foods purchased from mobile lunch trucks — Alberta, Canada, October 2010–February 2011

During October 2010–February 2011, an outbreak of 91 Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) infections in Alberta, Canada, was investigated by a local public health department (Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone). Index cases initially were linked through a common history of consumption of food purchased from mobile food-vending vehicles (lunch trucks)
operating at worksites in Alberta. Further investigation implicated one catering company that supplied items for the lunch trucks and other vendors.

In 85 cases, patients reported consumption of food prepared by the catering company in the 7 days before illness. Six patients were employees of the catering company, and two food samples collected from the catering company were positive for SE. Foods likely were contaminated directly or indirectly through the use of illegally sourced, SE-contaminated eggs at the implicated catering facility and by catering employees who were infected with SE. Public health interventions put into place to control the outbreak included screening employees for Salmonella, excluding those infected from food-handling duties, and training employees in safe food-handling procedures. No further outbreak cases were identified after full implementation of the interventions.

This investigation highlights the potential for lunch trucks to be a source of foodborne illness and the need for robust regulatory compliance monitoring of lunch trucks and their food suppliers.

E. coli recall expands, CFIA seizes all product from XL Foods; needle tenderized steak to blame, again?

A recall of E. coli O157:H7 contaminated meat from Alberta has been expanded for the eighth time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has seized all product from XL Packers, while the province has ordered Costco to stop needle tenderizing steaks.

The explosive developments come three weeks after U.S. inspectors initially found E. coli O157:H7 in XL meat crossing the border, and fundamentally undermine the role of CFIA inspectors and Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, who is responsible for CFIA.

CFIA issued a statement last night, stating that to date, the company has not adequately implemented agreed upon corrective actions and has not presented acceptable plans to address longer-term issues.

Therefore, effective immediately, the CFIA has temporarily suspended the licence to operate Establishment 38 – XL Foods, Inc. All products currently at this plant are under CFIA detention and control. These products will only be released after being tested for E. coli O157:H7. The company has also expanded its voluntary recall of raw meat produced on August 24, 27, 28, 29 and September 5.

XL Foods Inc. will not resume operations until they have demonstrated that they have fully implemented CFIA’s required corrective actions.

Meanwhile, four of the eight known cases of E. coli O157:H7 matching the outbreak strain have been linked to New York strip steaks sold from an Edmonton Costco.

And more meanwhile, an Edmonton butcher told iNews880 all their meat is local, coming from farms around the city, and there is no risk of coming into his shop and finding the same beef being recalled everywhere else.

(I don’t know why the text is bold in places; we have really limited resources and our resource is on holiday.)

Edmonton woman finds glove in package of frozen chicken wings

Madina Najmeddine considers chicken wings to be her guilty pleasure, but when she prepared a batch of Pinty’s Honey Garlic Wings on Tuesday, she got much more than she bargained for.

"My initial reaction was ‘Oh my god!,’ and my second reaction was ‘I’m going to be sick,’" Najmeddine said.

What initially appeared to be several chicken wings clumped together was instead revealed a glove – balled up and covered in sauce.

"You know that gloves handling chicken may be clean, but now your hand’s in the glove and I have your glove and that’s kind of disgusting," she said.

Global News attempted to contact Pinty’s Delicious Foods in Burlington, Ont. several time Thursday, but no calls were returned. Najmeddine is determined to get some answers.