by Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS CBN News
EDMONTON — Restaurant Mama Nita’s Filipino Cuisine is now closed, amid an investigation by the Alberta Health Services for E. coli.
In an email to BA over the weekend, senior media relations Kirsten Goruk said that Alberta Health Services is aware of 19 confirmed cases of the E. coli bacteria linked to Mama Nita’s kitchen in Edmonton.
Two cases have been hospitalized, and the restaurant agreed to voluntarily close.
AHS continues to investigate the cause of the outbreak.
Filipino restaurant owners in Edmonton say its still business as usual, and despite the incident.
“First of all its very unfortunate event, this is very scary it can happen to me it can happen to anybody, so its something that a lot of learning marami tayong matutunan doon,” said Jaytee Balmores, a food truck owner.
“It’s about consistency,” said restaurant owner Manuel Salemo. “We conduct pre-shift checklist food safety number one and cleanliness.”
E. coli infections are typically caused by consuming food and drink contaminated with human or animal feces or by direct contact with infected people or animals. Symptoms can occur up to 10 days after eating contaminated food.
“As a business owner, I’m a registered nurse and an infection control officer in my previous job, my best tip would be continuing education to your staff and yourself, proper handling of food,” said Balmores. “Food handling is a responsibility of everyone.”
Mama Nita’s lawyer advised that they will wait until the investigation is completed before giving a statement.
According to Alberta’s Public Health Act, in these situations, establishments are first given a warning. Further failure to comply with food safety laws may lead to cancellation of their food handling permit.