TORONTO – Lab results have revealed that maple bacon jam — a component of the Cronut Burger — is to blame for more than 79 cases of food-borne illness at the CNE, public health officials say.
Toronto Public Health says the jam — made up of bacon, maple syrup, water and brown sugar — served atop the burger contained Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria known to cause gastrointestinal illness.
Possible symptoms include upset stomach, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, stomach cramps and dehydration.
“We were able to clear the cheese, the meat patty, the lettuce and the bun and identify the jam,” said Dr. Lisa Berger of Toronto Public Health. “Now we are looking at the individual components of the jam. There are separate food samples being sent to the public health lab and we are awaiting those results.”
Public health officials say they are investigating Le Dolci, which supplied the jam and the infamous doughnut-croissant hybrid to Epic Burgers & Waffles, to determine the cause of the contamination.
“We’re looking into all aspects of the different ingredients of the jam, how it was processed, how it was transported, how it was handled on site,” said Berger.
Berger said there were temperature control issues both at the supplier and on site.
“The staphylococcus aureus toxin is not killed by cooking,” she said. “Refrigeration prevents the bacteria from multiplying.”
The Toronto bakery has voluntarily ceased production of the product and there is no risk to the public.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Le Dolci said it is cooperating with public health officials.
“Some of you may have heard the news today. We thank all of our loyal customers, friends and family for their support and kind words,” the statement read.
As of Tuesday morning, Toronto Public Health says it has received 223 reports from patrons who experienced gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at the CNE from Aug. 16 to Aug. 20.
The common element in the cases health officials have investigated has been the Cronut Burger.
Epic Burgers & Waffles — the vendor that sold the Cronut Burger — reopened its booth at the CNE Tuesday.
In a statement, the CNE vendor said it will no longer serve the Cronut Burger and will not do further business with Le Dolci.
“With the green-light to reopen given to us by the city’s health unit, we look forward to serving the public for the remainder of the CNE and well into the future,” the statement read.
Epic Burgers & Waffles voluntarily shuttered following reports of food-borne illness.
Symptoms of food-borne illness were first reported Aug. 20 when paramedics treated 12 patrons — five of those people were taken to hospital.