Investigation into rash of E. coli cases focuses on meat and condiments

Source of Article:


Calgary Herald

Published: Friday, January 16, 2009

Food - A Canadian Food Inspection Agency investigation of a "cluster" of e. coli cases in Alberta and Saskatchewan is focusing on meat and condiments served at several restaurants, officials said Thursday.

The investigation comes after seven people, including five Calgarians, fell ill with a serious strain of the bacteria, e. coli 0157: H7, between Nov. 26 and Jan. 2.

Garfield Balsom, an official with the agency, said it appears most of the patients ate restaurant meals containing beef products.

"We are looking at some meat that may have been used in some of the meals consumed by those who were sick," he said Thursday.

"We are also looking at condiments that could have been used."

Balsom would not reveal what kind of meals the patients had consumed or name the restaurants where they ate.

Alberta Health Services announced earlier this week that an Edmontonian, a Saskatchewan resident and five people from Calgary had become infected with the e. coli strain.

Balsom said the situation does not appear to be an ongoing outbreak, noting no new cases have appeared in the past two weeks.

Alberta Health Services would not confirm Thursday that its investigation of the e. coli cases was focusing on restaurant meals.



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