MONTREAL – A young woman is fighting for her life after eating raw beef contaminated by E. coli in December.
Véronique Roger, a 32-year-old nurse at the oncology clinic in the Jewish General Hospital, remains in critical condition and her family fear for her life.
A spokesperson for Quebec’s health and social services has confirmed that there were seven E. coli cases contracted by eating steak tartare at the same Montreal restaurant.
The E. coli incident took place at Marché 27, a restaurant specializing in raw meat dishes.
“I didn’t know that there were cases of food poisoning in my restaurant, it’s been very difficult to hear about it,” Jason Masso, the restaurant owner told media Wednesday.
While he noted there is always a risk eating raw meat, he said that his restaurant has been open for six years with no serious incidents.
Many were critical of the government’s decision not to go public with the news of the E. coli contamination.
Patients’ rights advocate Paul Brunet told Global News that he was concerned about the fact that officials chose not to go public with what had happened and where it took place.
“I was afraid . . . that there could be risks for public health,” he said.
“It might be in the public’s interest to know there was a problem.”
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On Wednesday, the restaurant in downtown Montreal was busy with hungry customers, seemingly unconcerned by any possible risk.
“I don’t think there is any danger,” said Malgorzata Ulla.
“Otherwise the restaurant would be closed.”