Markham, Ont. restaurant cleared to reopen after diners become sick: York Region top doctor

Click to play video: 'York Region medical officer discusses illness among diners at Markham restaurant'
York Region medical officer discusses illness among diners at Markham restaurant
WATCH ABOVE: Dr. Barry Pakes, York's medical officer of health, told Global News the local public health unit believed it had identified the cause of several cases of severe illness among diners at a Markham restaurant. He said the establishment had been cleared to reopen – Aug 30, 2022

The restaurant where four people ate in Markham, Ont., before being admitted to intensive care has been cleared to reopen, the local medical officer of health says.

On Monday, York Region Public Health said it was investigating what had happened at Delight Restaurant & BBQ over the weekend after several diners became sick, noting the restaurant had since been closed.

It was reported that 12 people who had eaten at the restaurant sought medical attention, triggering an investigation by the public health unit.

Read more: Investigation underway amid reports of poisoning at Markham, Ont., restaurant

Local medical officer of health, Dr. Barry Pakes said that the toxin aconite — found in herbs, roots or a flower — is suspected to be involved.

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He said York Region Public Health has no reason to think diners were intentionally given the toxin.

In an interview with Global News, Pakes said Delight Restaurant & BBQ would “opening up again because the threat is no longer there.”

Read more: Plant-based toxin suspected of sickening a dozen diners at Markham, Ont., restaurant

Pakes said public health believed the cause of the illness had been traced to a contaminant in a spice used in the restaurant.

“We’ve made sure to do our best to remove what we think may be the offending agent from a retail outlet and what we’re doing just now is investigating to see if it may have been distributed elsewhere,” he said.

Pakes said the risk of contamination at other locations was low because the product is “very uncommonly used.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

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