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Inmates in Seven Provincial Correctional Institutions May Have Been Exposed to Listeria

Archived News Release

Inmates in Seven Provincial Correctional Institutions May Have Been Exposed to Listeria

Ministry of Health

Dr. David Williams, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, is alerting individuals who were incarcerated in seven provincial correctional institutions between November 13 and 16, 2008 of a possible exposure to Listeria monocytogenes.

On November 21, 2008, the operator of a correctional services food production facility in Milton informed the Halton Region Health Department that food and environmental samples taken during routine surveillance at the facility had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The tests relate to samples taken from food that may have been consumed between November 13 and November 16, 2008.

As a result of the positive tests, the Halton Region Health Department issued an order to the operator, Eurest Dining Services, to cease production and distribution of food from the facility and to immediately prepare and implement a plan to sanitize the plant and equipment.

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services took immediate action and has stopped serving any of the food from the production facility.

There are no reported cases of listeriosis.  Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services health care providers have increased surveillance and are monitoring inmates and staff for symptoms associated with listeriosis.

Inmates and staff have been notified of the signs and symptoms of listeriosis and have been advised to notify correctional officials if they have any concerns. 

Some individuals who were incarcerated at these institutions when the food was served are now in the community.  Dr. Williams is asking health care providers to be on alert for individuals linked with these institutions who may present with symptoms of listeriosis.  If symptoms are present further testing should be conducted.   

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Halton Region Health Department and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are investigating the source of the contamination with the assistance of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Quick Facts

  • The Milton food production facility provides 9,000 meals per day to approximately 4,500 inmates.
  • Seven of the province’s 31 correctional institutions are served by the Milton facility :
  • Maplehurst Correctional Centre – Milton
  • Vanier Centre for Women – Milton
  • Central North Correctional Centre – Penetanguishene
  • Central East Correctional Centre – Lindsay
  • Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre – Ottawa
  • St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre – Brockville
  • Brockville Jail – Brockville
  • Symptoms of listeriosis include vomiting, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, severe headache, constipation or fever.
  • ndividuals most at risk are the elderly, pregnant women and newborn children, and people with weakened immune systems.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“Although there have been no cases, I am asking individuals who were present at these seven correctional institutions between the dates of November 13 and 16, 2008 to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms of listeriosis.There is no risk to the general public, and we are taking every possible step to notify individuals who may have been affected.”

Dr. David Williams

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health.

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