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August 23, 2013

Toronto Public Health update on CNE food borne illness investigation
  
This week, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has been investigating an outbreak of food borne illness among individuals who visited the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto.

TPH's investigation included a thorough on-site inspection of one premise on August 21, including collection of food samples for testing and interviews of individuals who were ill to determine their symptoms and what they ate.

As of 10 a.m. today, TPH has received over 150 reports from CNE visitors who experienced gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming food at the CNE from August 16 to August 20 and interviewed over 100 individuals. The only common food consumed by those who were ill is the "cronut burger" sold by EPIC Burgers.

"Early laboratory test results indicate that samples of the cronut burger were contaminated by staphylococcus aureus toxin which is a recognized cause of food borne illness," said Dr.David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health.

Symptoms of illness range from an upset stomach to more serious symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. TPH is continuing its investigation to determine how the contamination occurred.

Prior to the opening of the CNE, food handler training was offered to over 1,600 food handlers. Since the CNE's opening weekend, TPH has inspected over 300 food premises. TPH continues to actively monitor and will work with vendors on food safety for the duration of the annual fair.

For more information about staphylococcus aureus see the TPH factsheet at http://www.toronto.ca/health/moh/pdf/food_safety_backgrounder.pdf

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Kris Scheuer, Media Relations Consultant
Toronto Public Health
416-338-8020
kscheue@toronto.ca

 

 

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