CALGARY – Alberta Health Services (AHS) said Wednesday there have been 14 cases of E. coli in the Calgary zone.
The ongoing investigation has not confirmed a single source of illness that links all 14 cases, although at least two of the cases are believed to be tied to a specific pork sausage product sold by a Calgary-based retailer, Paolini’s Sausage & Meats.
AHS says anyone who bought Paolini’s Sausage & Meats “Hungarian Farmer’s Sausage” before Feb. 2 should treat it as raw meat, and cook it to an internal temperature of 71C before eating.
Potential E. coli can be destroyed by cooking it to the proper temperature.
AHS emphasized the sausage is not a ready-to-eat product, and that cooking instructions are not provided with the product.
They also stated that the sausage may be sold without a label from Paolini’s as it was also available through other retailers.
Paolini’s company owner May Lieu told Global News the safety and health of their customers is a top priority. Lieu said she is not sure how the contamination occurred but that they are working closely with AHS to ensure all products are safe.
AHS shut down the meat processor for a day to disinfect, but the facility has since reopened.
The sources of the other 12 cases, dating back to Nov. 25, are still under investigation.
AHS urged Albertans to follow these important precautions on a daily basis to reduce risk of E. coli infection:
• Wash 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 all kitchen tools and surfaces that have touched raw meat to avoid cross-contamination;
• Thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits before eating;
• Use only pasteurized milk, dairy, and juice products;
• Ensure water used for drinking or food preparation is from approved sources (including municipal water supply or properly maintained/treated well water).
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