On Friday, Alberta Health Services said the E. coli outbreak linked to certain pork products in the province was officially over.
AHS started investigating a number of confirmed cases on March 29.
The outbreak was connected to some pork products sold and distributed by The Meat Shop at Pine Haven. Several other businesses were impacted since they used the affected pork products and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall.
In total, there were 42 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli linked to this outbreak.
Thirteen patients needed medical treatment at the hospital and one person “died likely due to infection with E. coli,” AHS said.
“Our thoughts remain with the family of the patient who died and all of those affected by this,” said Dr. Jasmine Hasselback, medical officer of health for the Edmonton zone. “We would like to thank our federal and provincial partners for their collaboration on this investigation.”
Alberta Health, Agriculture and Forestry, the CFIA, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada were all involved in this case.
“We would also like to thank and acknowledge The Meat Shop at Pine Haven and all of the affected businesses for their cooperation,” Hasselback said.
Even though the outbreak has ended, officials say there is still the possibility there may be additional cases confirmed in the coming weeks. They ask people to check their freezers to make sure they don’t still have products affected by the recalls.
Watch below: During this week’s ‘Ask The Doctor’ segment, Dr. Shelley Duggan discusses the dangers surrounding E coli.
AHS also offered health and safe food handling tips to reduce E. coli risk:
· 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
E. coli O157:H7 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.
Symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and kidney failure.