Lambton Public Health completes salmonella outbreak investigation

Lambton Public Health on Exmouth Street in Sarnia. 27 April 2020. ( photo by Colin Gowdy)

Lambton Public Health (LPH) has completed its investigation into the Salmonella outbreak at Sarnia’s Barakat Restaurant and its food truck in Corunna.

The health agency said lab tests and data analysis did not point towards a specific food to which cases could be attributed. Investigators believe the outbreak resulted in cross-contamination from multiple food items.

Epidemiological and laboratory analysis indicated potential contamination of dishes containing hummus, however, results were not conclusive.

As part of the investigation, Lambton Public Health has conducted multiple follow-up inspections and is satisfied that there’s no ongoing source of salmonella.

Both locations have been voluntarily closed since October 30, and a reinspection will be conducted at both premises when they are ready to reopen.

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade said when they reopen, he doesn’t think there is any difference in risk in eating there and eating somewhere else.

“I think the point really is to say that there’s always a risk with food, there’s particular risk with like undercooked poultry and undercooked meat, and we have lots and lots of information on our website about how you can protect yourself from those risks when you’re cooking your food at home or when you’re eating out.”

There are a total of 45 lab-confirmed cases of salmonella linked to Barakat, and at least 185 other people have reported illness after eating at the establishments.