2 dead in Listeria outbreak at Ottawa retirement home

·2 min read
City View Retirement Home on Meadowlands Drive is dealing with an ongoing listeria outbreak that has left two of its residents dead. (Google Street View - image credit)
City View Retirement Home on Meadowlands Drive is dealing with an ongoing listeria outbreak that has left two of its residents dead. (Google Street View - image credit)

Two retirement home residents in Ottawa have died in an ongoing month-long outbreak at the home.

Ottawa Public Health says officials are investigating the outbreak at City View Retirement Community in Nepean, and as of noon Tuesday, there were four confirmed cases among residents of the home, including the two people who have died.

Listeria is rarely spread person to person, and the bacteria usually comes from contaminated foods including raw (unpasteurized) milk, soft cheeses, raw vegetables, melons, and ready-to-eat meats such as hot dogs, pâté, and deli meats.

The bacteria can also be transferred from one food to another by improper food handling, and can grow in refrigerated food, according to the OPH website.

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock
Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

The high-risk foods listed above were removed from the home's menu as of May 4, according to OPH, and it has requested and continues to request daily communication from the facility via line lists and phone calls as needed.

OPH said it has also conducted 10 site visits over the past month, including multiple food safety compliance inspections and follow-up inspections, and at least one hazard analysis critical control point audit.

The investigation is supported by Public Health Ontario, as well as its laboratories, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

OPH has submitted food samples and environmental swab samples to the provincial lab, which needs about one week to provide preliminary results and an additional week to provide final results.

City View said it's cooperating with investigators to help determine the source of the bacteria, which is still unknown.

In a statement, it said none of the food tested by OPH has so far come back positive for listeria, but out of an abundance of caution the home is not currently serving deli meats, which are a common source of the bacteria.

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