TORONTO - Around 100 people have told Toronto Public Health they got ill after eating food at the Canadian National Exhibition.
Toronto Public Health still doesn’t yet know whether Epic Burgers and Waffles — the vendor that serves up the cronut burger (a beef patty, slice of processed cheese, between a bun of two cronuts — a cross between a donut and croissant) — caused an outbreak of food-borne illness at the CNE on Tuesday. Officials said the investigation is continuing into the eatery and the number of reported cases has ballooned.
“As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, Toronto Public Health had received close to 100 reports from individuals who experienced gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming food at the CNE from Aug. 16 to 20,” Toronto Public Health said in a statement released Thursday morning.
They were still waiting to get the lab results back on food samples taken from Epic Burgers.
A dozen people sought help from Toronto EMS at the CNE on Tuesday after experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. Around five ended up going to hospital. In interviews, many of those who were sick said that they believed the cronut burger was to blame.
The food stand at the centre of the cronut controversy remained closed all day Thursday but did get a visit from several people still interested in trying the now infamous cronut burger including Hollywood star David Hasselhoff.
Epic Burgers issued a statement Thursday saying it takes health and safety “very seriously” and will remain voluntarily closed until lab tests by public health are complete and they have more information from the authority.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
The investigation could take a while.
Associate medical officer of health Dr. Lisa Berger said they are concentrating their investigation on the one vendor.
“However, all possible sources of illness are being investigated,” Berger stated. “Overall risk to the general public is low.”
The food samples sent away Wednesday are expected to come back in 48 to 72 hours.
-- With files from Keaton Robbins