July 17, 2024

Hankook (Korean characters only) Original Kimchi E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

A Hankook (Korean characters only) brand Original Kimchi E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has been announced by the Public Health Agency of Canada. As of January 28, 2022 there are 14 laboratory-confirmed cases linked to this outbreak. A food recall has been issued.

Hankook (Korean characters only) Original Kimchi E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

The patient case count by province is: Alberta (13) and Saskatchewan (1). The patient age range is between 0 and 61 years of age. No hospitalizations or deaths have been reported. Many of those sickened said they ate Hankook (Korean characters only) brand Original Kimchi before they got sick. Kimchi is a spicy type of Korean sauerkraut that is made from fermented vegetables.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, along with the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial public health partners are investigating this outbreak. If more recalls ar warranted, the public will be informed on the CFIA’s web site.

Do not eat, sell, use, or serve this product or any item made with this kimchi. No retailer, distributor, or food service establishment such as hotels, hospitals, restaurants, cafeterias, or long term care homes should distribute this product. If an establishment had this product, they should clean and sanitize all surfaces and storage areas where it was stored.

E. coli infections are more likely to cause severe illness in several populations: people with weakened immune systems, the very young, the elderly, anyone with a chronic illness such as diabetes, and pregnant women. Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection can include a mild fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, severe and painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. These symptoms usually start a few days to a week after eating food contaminated by the pathogen.

A rare complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which is a type of kidney failure, can occur with this infection. Symptoms of HUS include little urine output, lethargy, and pale skin. No HUS cases have occurred in this outbreak.

If you or anyone you know ate this kimchi and have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor. You could be part of this Hankook (Korean characters only) Original Kimchi E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

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