Note: Given that E. coli O157:H7 can survive refrigerator and freezer temperatures, and burgers can stay in our freezers for months, it is very important to check your freezer for these products. Please tell your family and friends about this recall. JA
Event Update: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Loblaw Companies Ltd., and Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd. are warning the public not to consume certain Butcher's Choice and Cardinal Select Prime Rib beef burgers because these products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The recalled products were produced by Establishment 752, Cardinal Meat Specialists Limited, located in Brampton, Ontario.
Recalled products include Butcher's Choice brand Hickory Barbecue and Garlic Peppercorn Beef Burgers, and Cardinal brand Prime Rib Beef Burgers. See Products tab for details on the affected item.
These products have been distributed nationally.
▲CFIA and the Public Health Agency of Canada have confirmed that the five cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness under investigation are linked to the specific strain of E. coli O157 observed in certain recalled frozen beef burgers from Cardinal Meat Specialists. Two cases were identified in Alberta, and the other three cases in Ontario. The individuals in each of these situations became ill between early September and late November. All five cases have recovered or are recovering.
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Investigation:
The investigation into the E. coli O157:H7 illnesses associated with frozen beef burgers has been concluded.
The risk to Canadians remains low because all products found to be contaminated were recalled from store shelves last month.
In total, 5 cases were confirmed to be part of this outbreak; 3 in Ontario and 2 in Alberta.
The investigation confirmed the source of this outbreak to be Butcher’s Choice Garlic Peppercorn frozen beef burgers. It remains important that Canadians not eat any of the recalled beef products. Check your freezer and if you have recalled products in your home, return them to the store, or throw them out.
The Public Health Agency of Canada, in collaboration with provincial/territorial partners, will continue to monitor for and investigate any new cases of E. coli that may be related to this outbreak as part of its routine surveillance activities.
Based on all the information collected to date – epidemiological, microbiological and food safety – the following cases of illness are linked to the specific strain of E. coli O157 found in the recalled frozen beef burgers. More information about the epidemiological investigation is also available.
Province / Territory
Total confirmed cases
Over the course of the investigation, an additional reported case of E. coli O157:H7 illness was found to have the same strain of E. coli as one found in a recalled product. However, the case could not be definitively linked to the outbreak associated with this investigation because there was not enough food history information available to connect the individual with the contaminated product. ▲This individual died in early December as a result of the illness.
Food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria my cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. See Hazard tab for more information.
For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers: Loblaw Customer Relations at 1-800-296-2332 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd. at 905-459-4436 ext 265 or email@example.com. CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).
Note: This is a CFIA Class I recall (High risk): The CFIA will request a Class I recall for a food product when there is a high risk that eating or drinking that product will lead to serious health problems or death. The CFIA issues a public warning for all Class I recall when the product is available for sale or could be in the consumer’s home.