The Public Health Agency of Canada, along with its health and food safety partners, is investigating 25 cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness; 12 in British Columbia, 10 in Alberta and 1 each in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec. These individuals became ill between mid-July and mid-September. There has been one reported death.
Certain contaminated cheese products manufactured by Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, have been identified as the source of the illnesses. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a Health Hazard Alert warning the public not to consume the affected product. Should additional products be recalled as part of the ongoing food safety investigation, the CFIA will immediately inform the public.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit officials in southwestern Ontario say laboratory tests have linked three cases of E. coli O157:H7 to recalled Compliments brand Super 8 Beef Burgers. However, a spokesman for Ontario’s health ministry said Thursday there have been six confirmed cases of illness in that province associated with the beef in question. Of the six people, four were hospitalized; of the four, one is still in hospital. All are recovering, the ministry said. The onsets of the six cases of illness in Ontario were between Aug. 16 and Sept. 15.
The recall of the burgers began on Wednesday and covers eight-ounce burgers that were sold frozen in packages of six (with a UPC code of 0 55742 37055 3). The burgers were distributed in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario, and sold through Foodland, Sobeys, FreshCo and Price Chopper stores.