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Death may be connected to E. coli in cheese
Although emphasizing there is no clear link, the death of a resident in the Interior in August may be connected to an outbreak of E.coli that has shut down some sales at a Salmon Arm farm.
Dr. Rob Parker of the Interior Health Authority confirmed the death, noting the person had eaten cheese from Gort's Gouda Cheese Farm, had the symptoms of E.coli infection and the bacteria was confirmed to be the one identified as coming from the farm.
Seven others who have become sick are being investigated as part of the alert.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is expected to issue a recall soon, after it identifies the specific cheese-food product that carries the bacteria, but the provincial Centre for Disease Control chose to alert media immediately and warn anyone with any Gort cheese product to get rid of it.
No other product produced at the farm is under review, said Dr. Eleni Galanis, a physician epidemiologist with the centre.
Parker said investigation is continuing into the cause of death, but noted the person had eaten cheese from the farm and had the specific markers indicating the bacteria that has been linked to the others.
Neither doctor would provide demographics on the eight people who have become ill. other than to say children to seniors and males and females are involved.
Although the first case was reported in July, the others were not reported until late August and earlier this month.
"So no alarm bells sounded until then," Galanis said.
Parker said IHA officials are continuing their investigation of the death, speaking with the person's family and doctor.
It has yet to be determined if the illness from the bacteria contributed to the death, he said.
Go here to see the list of products affected.
THE FACTS ON E. COLI: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fs-sa/fs-fi/ecoli-eng.php