24 now sick from shiga-toxin producing E. coli in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial health department is advising residents of an outbreak of E. coli bacteria.

There have been 22 cases of E.coli confirmed in the province, according to an advisory issued last Friday afternoon.

Another two suspected cases have since emerged.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said some of the cases are connected to an advisory issued by Memorial University last week, saying Eastern Health was investigating reports of students experiencing gastrointestinal illness.

The university said Wednesday that test results indicated one student living in residence “may have contracted the E. coli bacteria” and 21 students had reported similar symptoms.

Fitzgerald said it’s too early in the investigation to determine a cause of the outbreak.

Cameras are everywhere: Newfoundland uni probing student complaints of raw, mouldy food

The food service at Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L. is looking into complaints of spoiled meals, after photos of mouldy and raw products allegedly served at a campus dining hall were posted to social media.

memorial.uni.foodA collection of photos and complaints were posted online Monday, alleging that the students were being served spoiled, unsafe food. The photos include images of a fly on a taco plate, undercooked pork chops, and a mouldy lemon.

The author of the lengthy post complained that students living in residence are forced to purchase meal plans that cost between $2,200 and $2,300 per semester, but the food being served to them is not edible.

According to the post, the school’s dining services are now being handled by Aramark, a U.S.-based food services company.

“Over the course of this year, every meal is a gamble,” the post read. “The only truly safe foods which pose no threat of food poisoning/disgusting experiences are toasts and cereals. I personally have had uncooked eggs, raw cod fish, uncooked chicken breasts/chicken pot pie, food with hair baked in, and several other equally disgusting occurrences.”

The lengthy post also included complaints that were posted to the MUN Dining Services Facebook page, and responses from the page administrators.

An online petition has also been created, calling on the university to enforce higher food quality and health standards at the dining hall. 

In response to the complaints, a statement was posted Wednesday to the MUN Dining Services Facebook page, stating that the dining services department is “very concerned” about the images posted to social media. 

barf.o.meter.dec.12“We have brought in a team of food safety experts to assess our operations and ensure that we are providing a positive, safe and healthy dining environment for students, faculty, visitors and staff,” the statement said.

A town hall meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, for students to voice their concerns about the university’s food services.

Why is the university responding with an antiquated town hall meeting instead of aggressively circulating proof of the safety of the food? Oh, maybe that doesn’t exist.