Outbreak investigation underway in the Calgary Zone of AHS
CALGARY – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is currently investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 cases in the Calgary Zone of AHS.
As of Feb. 2, this outbreak includes 14 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7.
Though the ongoing investigation has not yet confirmed a single source of illness linked to all 14 outbreak cases, recent testing has linked at least two of the 14 cases with a specific pork sausage product sold to the public by a Calgary-based retailer.
As such, effective immediately, AHS is advising any individual who purchased Paolini’s Sausage & Meats Ltd’s Hungarian Farmer’s Sausage before Feb. 2, 2016, to handle this product as though it is a raw meat product, and to cook it to an internal temperature of 71 C before consuming.
Cooking to this temperature will destroy any potential E. coli bacteria. This product is not ready-to-eat, and appropriate cooking instructions are not provided with the product.
Please note this product may have been sold by retailers other than Paolini’s Sausage & Meats Ltd., both within and outside of the city of Calgary.
AHS Public Health investigates every case of E. coli O157:H7 confirmed in Alberta as part of routine operations.
As the investigation into this outbreak is still ongoing, AHS continues to work with partners to identify any additional potential source(s) of illness associated with the outbreak, and any ongoing risks to the public. If and as the investigation identifies any additional potential risks to the general public, further updates will be provided by AHS.
As always, all Albertans are encouraged 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).
For more information about E. coli O157:H7, please visit https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=hw133795.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.