Additional Salmonella Cases Sprouting Up

AdditionalSalmonella Cases Sprouting Up
February 23,2001
The Edmonton Sun
Paul Cowan

Thenumber of victims in Edmonton's latest food contamination horror has, accordingto this story, risen to 33 confirmed cases.

Andpublic health officials fear there are at least another dozen people in the citysuffering from salmonella poisoning as a result of eating contaminated beansprouts grown by a local food supplier. Medical officer of health for theEdmonton area Dr. Gerry Predy was quoted as saying, "We now have 33confirmed cases and somewhere between 12 and 17 suspected cases. It is importantto us to identify the extent of this outbreak and be sure we have covered allour bases. However, it looks as though the number of cases coming forward isslowing down."

Predypaid tribute to his staff for pinpointing a potential source of the foodpoisoning so quickly. University of Alberta food safety expert Glen Armstrongwas cited as saying there were several possible sources of contamination,adding, "It could be the seed used or it could be the water used to growthe sprouts somehow being contaminated or perhaps someone working with thesprouts who didn't wash their hands could be responsible." No one from SunSun was prepared to comment.

Predywas further cited as saying the source of around 200 cases of salmonellareported annually to Capital Health was the household kitchen, adding,"Most of the bad food preparation practices are found in people's homesrather than commercial establishments. But it is true to say the trend towardsfewer suppliers with a greater number of customers does mean that any mistakecan have a far-reaching impact."