April 16, 2021

E. coli 0157:H7 Outbreak in Canada Grows to Eight Patients

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that another person has been sickened in the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak linked to recalled Gourmet Meat Shoppe frozen beef burgers. The case count is now as follows: Ontario (4), Alberta (2), Manitoba (1), Saskatchewan (1). All of the patients are recovering or have recovered.

skylers hamburgerAll of the recalled burgers have been removed from store shelves, but consumers most likely still have some in their home freezers. Public health officials are asking that you check your freezer to see if you have the recalled products. If you do, throw them out or return them to the store. Do not eat them.The symptoms of an E. coli 0157:H7 infection include severe stomach cramps, watery and/or bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and a mild fever. Up to ten percent of patients who do get this infection can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can destroy the kidneys and be life-threatening. If you have eaten these products and experienced those symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.

To prevent this illness, it’s important to follow food safety rules. Always cook meat to a safe internal temperature. Ground meat must be cooked to a final temperature of at least 160 degrees F. Check that temperature with a food thermometer to be sure. Always wash your hands before cooking and after handling raw meat products. Never transfer cooked burgers to a platter that held uncooked meat. Always keep raw meats separate from other foods, especially those eaten uncooked.

Public health officials in Canada continue to investigate this outbreak. More cases may be identified and added to the outbreak in the coming weeks.

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