According to Vermont Press reports, the number of E. coli cases in Vermont has reached nine, with a 10th case suspected. In a Press Release the Vermont Department of Health officials offered little specific information on the outbreak, saying only that it had been linked to ground beef served at three Vermont (UNNAMED) restaurants and most of the people infected lived in Chittenden County. 

“Our laboratory results tell us that each person became ill from the same source,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Susan Schoenfeld. “And our epidemiology investigation has found that source to be ground beef that was contaminated before it was distributed to, prepared, and served at a few restaurants in Vermont.” 

While people are sickened in Vermont another restaurant E. coli outbreak hits in Canada.  The Globe and Mail reports – “More will fall ill in E. coli outbreak, officials warn, after more than 50 customers sickened, health officials close fast-food outlet.”  This E. coli outbreak may have sickened more than 50 people who ate at an Ontario Harvey’s restaurant.  Fourteen people were confirmed to have fallen ill from E. coli O157:H7 bacteria after eating at a North Bay Harvey’s franchise.  Another 38 illnesses linked to the same restaurant are under investigation to determine whether they are the result of E. coli contamination.  But health officials fear that number could climb significantly because it can take several days for people to feel ill after coming in contact with E. coli.

Are these two outbreaks linked?