B.C.’s third E. coli case found in Fraser Health region

An adult in the Fraser Health region is recovering after contracting XL Foods-linked E. coli

An adult in the Fraser Health region is recovering after contracting the same E. coli strain spread in beef contaminated at the XL Foods plant in Alberta.

It’s the third confirmed E. coli case in the province linked to the massive beef recall and it brings the total to 15 in Canada.

A second detected case announced Friday by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control was a foreign visitor who tested positive in the Vancouver Coastal region after eating beef in both Alberta and B.C. That person has returned home.

The Fraser Health patient ate beef bought in B.C. and authorities are investigating to try to trace the exact source.

BCCDC officials say foodborne illness from the 0157 strain of E. coli is not uncommon and they have not detected any unusual increase in the typical rate of those cases – 110 to 180 per year.

B.C.’s first case was a Vancouver Island man who has since recovered.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has agreed to let XL Foods restart production at its shuttered plant.

Various beef products from the plant were sold under multiple brand names and ended up in most major grocery outlets in B.C.

For details on products subject to XL Foods beef recall, see http://inspection.gc.ca/recalls_XLFoods.

E. coli infection may cause mild to severe symptoms including diarrhea and stomach cramps. In severe cases diarrhea may become bloody.

Symptoms start an average of three to four days after exposure to the bacteria, and usually last between five to 10 days. Rarely, it can lead to kidney failure and death.

Health authorities also advise consumers to cook raw beef to at least 71 C and to avoid cross-contamination by keeping hands, knives, cutting boards and other surfaces clean.