E. coli outbreak linked to certain pork products in Alberta declared over

June 1, 2018

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has declared the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that was linked to certain pork products over.

AHS began an investigation into a number of confirmed cases of E. coli on March 29, 2018. In partnership with Alberta Health, Agriculture and Forestry, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada, on April 24, 2018 the outbreak was linked to certain pork products sold and distributed by The Meat Shop at Pine Haven.

Several products sold by businesses in Alberta were affected by food recall warnings issued by the CFIA.

A total of 42 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 were linked to this outbreak, including 13 patients who have needed hospital care, and one individual who has died likely due to infection with E. coli.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of the patient who died and all of those affected by this. We would like to thank our Federal and Provincial partners for their collaboration on this investigation,” says Dr. Jasmine Hasselback, Medical Officer of Health for Edmonton Zone.

“We would also like to thank and acknowledge The Meat Shop at Pine Haven and all of the affected businesses for their cooperation.”

While this outbreak is considered over, there is still the possibility there may be additional cases confirmed in the coming weeks, which is why we ask people to check their freezers, to make sure they don’t still have products affected by the recalls.

As always, AHS would like to remind the public to follow these proper hygiene and safe food handling and preparation practices, to reduce their risk of E. coli and other food-borne infections:

  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water often, including after you go to the washroom, before you prepare food, after you touch raw meat, and after you 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.
  • Be sure that water used for drinking or food preparation is from a safe supply such as municipal water supplies or properly maintained/treated water wells.
  • When you travel to countries that may have unsafe drinking water, don't use ice or drink tap water, and avoid consuming raw fruits and vegetables, except those with skin that you peel yourself.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Kerry Williamson
AHS Communications
(780) 905-5890