Toronto Public Health [TPH] confirmed Friday that 150 people became ill after consuming the headline-making cronut burger at the Canadian National Exhibition [CNE] between August 16 and August 20, 2013.
As of 10 a.m. Friday, TPH had received over 150 reports from CNE visitors experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
“Early lab test results indicate that samples of the cronut burger were contaminated by staphylococcus aureus toxin which is a recognized cause of food borne illness,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.
“The only common food consumed by those who were ill is the cronut burger sold by EPIC Burgers.”
Twelve people received treatment from Toronto EMS on August 20, Dr. McKeown said but since then, no illnesses have been reported.
Epic Burgers will remain closed for the remainder of the investigation after closing voluntarily on Thursday after reports of the food borne illness first surfaced.
A day earlier, the company released a statement sticking by its past record at the CNE adding that all staff had received TPH food handler training prior to the opening of the Ex.
Despite the reports, hundreds were inside the food building Friday evening.
Epic Burgers’ cronut burger made headlines at the 2013 opening including being featured on the fair’s website. The vendor was returning this year by popular demand, the CNE said in a media release.
The burger contains a ... “croissant/donut hybrid on the outside and a grilled beef patty on the inside,” the website www.torontoist.com said.
The Toronto Star Food Building receives one million visitors each year and offers various dining options from around the world. There are eight new options this year and 17 back by popular demand.
The CNE works in conjunction with the City of Toronto Health Department and an independent microbiological testing company to monitor food service and preparation during the fair.