Dr. Faith Stratton, the provinces chief medical officer of health. — Telegram file photo
The Department of Health and Community Services today confirmed a single case of E. coli illness in the eastern region linked to a specific strain of E. coli observed in the XL Food Inc. food safety investigation.
The individual who was affected by the E. coli infection has recovered.
Investigators with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Service NL are working to determine the source.
“Residents can protect themselves from E. coli exposure by following safe food handling practices, cooking food thoroughly and discarding any meat products that may have been recalled,” said Dr. Faith Stratton, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Newfoundland and Labrador, in a news release.
“Food borne illnesses caused by E. coli typically begin three to four days after eating contaminated food and can last for seven to 10 days.
“Symptoms include abdominal cramps (which can be severe), watery or bloody diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Illness may become severe and require hospitalization. Individuals who feel that they may be sick from a food borne illness or anyone with severe diarrheal symptoms should consult a physician.”
The release says that people handling and preparing any raw meat products should take certain precautions including: thoroughly wash hands after handling raw meat; thoroughly clean all surfaces and utensils every time they come into contact with raw meats; prevent raw meat products, and their drippings, from coming into contact with food items, such as vegetables, fruit, and other foods that are usually eaten raw; cook all food items thoroughly using a thermometre to check the internal temperature of foods (71˚C is a safe internal temperature for beef products such as ground beef).
Up-to-date information on the related food recall and investigation is available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website at: www.inspection.gc.ca/food/consumer-centre/food-safety-investigations/xl-foods/eng/1347937722467/1347937818275
Additional food safety information can be obtained by visiting the Department of Health and Community Services website at: www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publichealth/envhealth/foodsafetyinfo.html