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CNE implementing stricter regulations on food vendors

As anticipation grows for the opening of the Canadian National Exhibition, officials are taking steps to make sure last year’s food poisoning problem is not repeated.

The crazy food concoctions are big part of the draw for many so the organizers say they want to avoid any of the issues that surrounded the Cronut burger.

The outbreak of food-borne illnesses was first reported four days into the fair. A Toronto Public Health investigation concluded the maple bacon jam topping on the Cronut burger was the culprit. Samples taken showed the jam was contaminated by Staphylococcus aureus toxin.

The food vendor Epic Burger and Waffles voluntarily closed while public health officials conducted their investigation. It reopened a week later and took the Cronut burger off its menu.

The public health department said 150 people were interviewed, and confirmed illness from the jam in 79 people – six of whom were hospitalized, with one requiring an overnight stay.

This year Toronto Public Health will have 20 health inspectors on hand who will visit each booth at least twice, as well as inspectors working at the CNE daily.

One of the culinary creations being offered is deep fried Sriracha bites with peanut butter and chocolate chips courtesy of Fran’s.

Bacon Nation will also have bacon-wrapped Coca-Cola chicken on the menu.

The CNE kicks off Aug. 15.

With files from Showwei Chu