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E. coli Outbreak

On July 29, 2014, Alberta Health Services (AHS) opened an E. coli O157:H7 (“E. coli”) outbreak investigation, in Alberta.

On November 13, 2014, AHS declared an end to this outbreak.

This declaration followed a period of 24 consecutive days during which no new outbreak cases of E. coli were identified.

The outbreak investigation team has reviewed the investigation findings, and concluded that the cause of this outbreak was exposure to contaminated pork products that were produced and distributed in Alberta.

The E.coli-contaminated pork products have been removed from the market, and do not present an ongoing risk to Albertans.

As always, food safety agencies in Alberta - including AHS - continue to monitor all Alberta food facilities, ensuring safety of food is protected.

INFOGRAPHIC: this E.coli Outbreak, by the numbers!

INFOGRAPHIC: this E.coli Outbreak, by the numbers!

Reduce your Risk

Although this outbreak has been declared over (effective Nov. 13/14), E. coli is always a potential risk to health.

E. coli infections are generally caused when a person eats food or drinks water that is contaminated with human or animal feces, or through direct contact with a person who is sick or with animals that carry the bacteria.

Albertans should always follow these proper hygiene and safe food handling and preparation practices, to reduce their risk of E. coli infection:

  • 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.
  • 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 approved sources (including municipal water supply or properly maintained/treated well water).
  • 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.

Additional Information

Resources:

E. coli Outbreak Case Numbers

Cases of E. coli that have been confirmed as linked to the outbreak that AHS declared over on Nov. 13/14.

These cases occurred between July 15 and November 13, 2014:

North Zone 5
Edmonton Zone 48
Central Zone 5
Calgary Zone 56
South Zone 0
Out of Province 5
Total 119*

*Of the 119 cases confirmed as linked to this outbreak, 114 of the cases reside in Alberta. Five of the cases reside outside of Alberta ("Out of Province"); however, contracted E. coli while visiting Alberta.