Published Date: 2004-07-28 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli O157, hockey camp - Canada (ON)
Archive Number: 20040728.2061
E. COLI O157, HOCKEY CAMP - CANADA (ONTARIO)
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 28 Jul 2004
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: The Toronto Star [edited]
E. coli sickens 25 at camp
A 12-year-old boy is being treated for possible kidney problems
stemming from an _E. coli_ outbreak at a hockey camp run by former
NHL enforcer Troy Crowder. The local health unit said 19 campers, and
6 staff, became sick in the days that followed a 16 Jul 2004 barbecue
at the Adventure North Hockey Camp in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, and,
that the source of their illness was undercooked hamburgers.
"The hamburgers should have been cooked to at least 71C. to make sure
that any _E. coli_ bacteria in them were killed," said Dr. Penny
Sutcliffe, the area's medical officer of health. "It appears this did
not happen." The 12-year-old boy is being treated at the Hospital for
Sick Children in Toronto. His condition has not been made public, at
the request of his family. Most of the others who became ill have
Sutcliffe said she became aware of the situation on 19 Jul 2004,
after receiving a call from a pediatrician who had assessed a camper
with bloody diarrhea. Health unit workers went to the camp the next
day and began investigating, even though the campers were all gone
and no samples of the tainted meat remained. 21 of the people who
became ill had been at the camp between 12 - 16 Jul 2004, and others
between 19 - 23 Jul 2004. They became sick through person-to-person,
"6 of 10 people tested have had their laboratory samples come back
positive for _E. coli_ O157:H7, which is also known as hamburger
disease, while 4 others are pending," Sutcliffe said.
The camp, located on Lake Penage in Whitefish, north of Sudbury, was
closed on 23 Jul 2004, but, is scheduled to reopen on 8 Aug 2004.
Crowder, a Sudbury native who played for 3 NHL teams from 1989 to
1996, said that he was heartsick about the outbreak and had spent
several days at the local hospital visiting the young, infected
campers. "I'll only use pre-cooked, pre-made hamburgers from now on,"
said Crowder, who added that the burgers weren't part of the original
menu. They were barbecued, because the camp lost power while a nearby
hydro pole was being replaced.
The health unit, which normally sees 3-5 _E. coli_ cases a year, was
also investigating whether the power loss was a factor in the
outbreak. As an added precaution, the health unit advised residents
to avoid eating ground beef purchased on 11 Jul 2004 from a Sudbury
Costco store, the source of the meat used for the camp's hamburgers.
Craig Wilson, Costco's assistant vice-president of food safety, said
36 customers, who purchased hamburger at the store that day [11 Jul
2004], have been contacted and advised to return the meat.
[Byline: Phil Novak]
[In the midst of the summer barbecue/outdoor cooking season, it
cannot be overemphasized that ground beef must be adequately cooked,
and, that careful steps must be taken to avoid cross-contamination
with uncooked meat, or its residues, after cooking. - Mod.LL]