CNE food building busy despite recent illnesses

TORONTO [Peter Paul Media] — Hundreds of patrons packed the CNE’s Toronto Star Food Building Wednesday evening just hours after reports from individuals getting sick after eating here between August 16 and August 20.

As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, Toronto Public Health [TPH] had received close to 100 reports from individuals suffering from symptoms ranging from upset stomach to fever, diarrhea, and dehydration, the agency said in a statement.

“Based on information to date, Toronto Public Health has concentrated our investigation around one food premise located at the CNE, however, all possible sources of illness are being investigated,” said Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lisa Berger Thursday.

“Overall risk to the general public is low.” Despite the news, patrons packed the food building and lined up dozens deep to get their share of CNE fare.

The incidents trace back to Epic Burgers and Waffles and their headline-making cronut burger. The company said Thursday they are cooperating fully with the investigation and will await the findings of TPH. In a media release featuring food offerings in the food building, Epic Burgers was listed under the “Back by popular demand” section.

“In the time that we’ve been operating at the CNE we have had a clean bill of health and all our staff have been fully trained in food safety. We buy our products from only the top suppliers and we’ve never had any issues in the past, nor do we wish to have any in the future,” a statement from Epic Burgers and Waffles said in part.

“We take health and safety very seriously. It’s very important to us that our food is not only enjoyed, but also trusted.”

Before the opening of the CNE on Friday, TPH offered food handling training to 1,600 food handlers and during the opening weekend, inspected 200 food premises.

Over one million visitors attend the Ex each year attracting 1.39 million in 2012 over 18 days. The Ex began Friday and continues through September 2.

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