A Vancouver Island man is B.C.’s first confirmed case of the E. coli strain that has spread through contaminated beef processed by the shuttered XL Foods plant in Alberta.
The B.C. Centre For Disease Control said it is continuing to investigate to determine the exact source of the infection after receiving lab confirmation of the case.
The man has since recovered from the illness and is one of more than 10 Canadians who have become sick in the wake of the biggest beef recall in the country’s history.
B.C. routinely detects 110 to 180 cases of the 0157:H7 strain of E. coli each year and BCCDC officials said there has been no detected increase in those numbers in recent months.
Officials urge consumers to discard any beef products in their home that are on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s latest expanded list of recalled products that originated through XL Foods but were sold by virtually every major B.C. grocer under many other brand names.
For details on the more than 1,500 recalled products, including identifying UPC codes and best-before dates, see: http://inspection.gc.ca/recalls_XLFoods.
E. coli infection may cause mild to severe symptoms including diarrhea and stomach cramps. In severe cases diarrhea may become bloody.
Symptoms start an average of three to four days after exposure to the bacteria, and usually last between five to 10 days. Rarely, it can lead to kidney failure and death.
Health authorities also advise consumers to cook raw beef to at least 71 C and to avoid cross-contamination by keeping hands, knives, cutting boards and other surfaces clean.