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Deadly E. coli outbreak traced to meat shop; pork recalled

Alberta Health Services says an E. coli outbreak has been traced to a meat shop south of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

One person has died and 11 others were sent to hospital in the outbreak that so far has sickened 36 people.

The Canadian Food Inspection agency issued a Class I recall Tuesday for certain pork products sold between Feb. 19 and April 24, citing E. coli O157:H7 as the cause of the illnesses stemming from pork products sold at The Meat Shop at Pine Haven in Westaskiwin County.

Pine Haven manager Tim Hofer told the Edmonton Journal he was informed April 18 of a potential connection to the E. coli outbreak. He said the company’s Alberta Hutterite colony shop has been shut down, and all surfaces have been deep cleaned.

“This is our businesses, it’s our livelihood, the food safety of our products to consumers is the highest priority,” he said. “It’s a very difficult time for us but we are doing the best we absolutely can to identify the problem and once we have found it to mitigate the risks.”

Hofer told the Journal that the business supplies meat products to dozens of customers in the area, including Mama Nita’s Binalot Filipino restaurant, where the current was identified among the restaurant’s patrons.

Both AHS and the CFIA are encouraging consumers to check if they haven of the  recalled products in their home. Businesses should also verify whether they have any recalled products.

AHS advises that recalled pork should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased. Food contaminated with E. coli may not look or smell spoiled but can still make a person sick.

The following products are included in the recall.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Pine Haven Pork Feet and Hocks (Lacombe cut, hind) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Ground (lean) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Heads and Bones Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Blood, Intestine and Liver Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Ribs (back, side) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Backfat and Bellies (skinless, skin-on, trim) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Butt (bone-in, skin-on, boneless) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Leg (bone-in, skin-on, boneless, denuded) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Loin (tenderloin, bone-in, prime rib, boneless, peeled, skin-on) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Shoulder (bone-in, picnic boneless) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Middle and Sides, Block Ready Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Shoulder Cappicola Cut Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Sausages (hot Italian, sweet Italian, farmer, breakfast, bacon breakfast) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Pork Roasts and Chops (fresh and smoked) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Bacon Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Wieners Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable
Pine Haven Salami (house, Holsteiner, Kulen, Bergsteiger) Variable All products sold or distributed from February 19 to April 24, 2018, inclusively Variable

 

The outbreak at Mama Nita’s dates back to March. Anyone who ate there on or before March 15 should monitor themselves for symptoms, including possibly bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Symptoms usually start one to 10 days after eating food contaminated with E. coli bacteria. If you are concerned or start to develop symptoms, visit a health care clinic or your family physician as soon as possible and be sure to tell him or her about your possible exposure to E. coli O157:H7.

E. coli infections are generally caused when a person eats food or drinks a beverage that is contaminated with human or animal feces. The infection can also be spread through direct contact with a person who is infected or by animals that carry the bacteria.

Children, elderly people and those whose immune systems are compromised, such as cancer patients, are at greater risk of complications from E. coli O157:H7.

The Alberta Health Service offers these hygiene and food-handling tips.

  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water often, including after you go to the washroom before you prepare food and after you touch raw meat or change diapers.
  • Avoid preparing food for others when ill with diarrhea.
  • Cook beef and pork to at least 71 °C (160 °F).
  • Thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits before eating.
  • Thoroughly wash all kitchen tools and surfaces that have touched raw meat.
  • Use only pasteurized milk, dairy and juice products.

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