Public health investigating four salmonella cases

Eat a Pita Eat a Pita restaurant on Main Street East at Kenilworth Avenue
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Four cases of salmonella are being investigated by Hamilton’s public health department.

Public health says it believes the cases are connected to the Eat a Pita restaurant on Main Street East at Kenilworth Avenue.

Dr. Chris Mackie, an associate medical officer of health, says the restaurant has been temporarily shut down, and may remain closed for days.

During a scheduled health inspection of Eat a Pita on Feb. 1, inspectors found that cooked chicken wasn’t being kept at a high enough temperature. Similar problems were discovered during a followup inspection on Thursday.

Mackie says that one case of salmonella and one case of gastrointestinal illness came to public health’s attention last Friday. Lab results confirmed the two cases were connected to the same facility as two others, leading health officials to declare a salmonella outbreak late Wednesday.

The decision was made to reach out publicly to those who might be affected by the outbreak.

“In this case we determined that we couldn’t contact everyone directly,” says Mackie. “We investigate these things thoroughly to make sure that there isn’t something at play that might be affecting a much broader population.”

A woman who answered the phone at Eat a Pita on Thursday said, “I don’t believe this is in my food.”

She also said she would like documentation of the cases from public health, and declined to comment further.

Salmonella can cause fever, chills, sudden headache, diarrhea, nausea and in some cases, vomiting.

“The thing we really want people to pay attention to here is if you’ve got severe diarrhea and a fever, and you’ve eaten at this Eat a Pita place, make sure you get medical care and contact public health,” says Mackie.

Anyone who has eaten at Eat a Pita since Feb. 1 is asked to call the public health office at 905-546-2063.

Special to The Hamilton Spectator

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