Alberta Health Services (AHS) Environmental Public Health in Edmonton is investigating to determine the source of an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7.

Image/Public domain photo/John Fowler via Wikimedia Commons
Image/Public domain photo/John Fowler via Wikimedia Commons

While the investigation into the exact cause is ongoing, this week there have been five lab-confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection in the Edmonton Zone involving people who consumed food from Mama Nita’s Binalot (1519 Lakewood Rd).

As a precaution, anyone who ate at this restaurant on March 15, 2018, onwards is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms. The predominant symptom associated with E. coli O157:H7 is diarrhea, which may be bloody. In more severe forms of the disease, hemolytic uremic syndrome (a form of kidney failure) can develop.

Symptoms usually start one to 10 days after eating food contaminated with E. coli bacteria. If you are concerned or start to develop symptoms, please visit a healthcare clinic or your family physician as soon as possible. It’s important that you mention your possible exposure to E. coli O157:H7.

Children, the elderly and the immunocompromised are at greater risk of complications from this strain of E. coli. The majority of individuals who get sick from E. coli O157:H7 will improve on their own within 10 days, but a small proportion may develop complications.

While it is known those individuals identified to date with lab confirmed E. coli O157:H7 ate food from the restaurant, this establishment and/or its worker(s) have not at this time been confirmed as the source. The restaurant has been identified as a precautionary measure with the full cooperation of its operators.

Environmental public health staff are working closely with the restaurant operator and staff to increase safety and reduce risk. These measures include increased hand hygiene measures, food safety re-education for staff and close monitoring of food handling practices.

Operators of the restaurant have been cooperative with public health officials. Environmental Public Health inspected the restaurant on March 27 and the investigation is ongoing.