E. coli O103, one of the more rare Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, sickened patients at two Victoria, British Columbia, hospitals last April. The Vancouver Island outbreak is now the subject of a study on food safety for high-risk products prepared for vulnerable populations.
Based on confirmed E. coli O103 cases reported to the Island Health infectious disease unit, whole-genome sequencing was used in the case study. The Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) published the study in its January 2022 edition.
The Victoria outbreak identified six confirmed E.coli O103 cases, with 67 percent being female and a medium age of 61. All were inpatients or outpatients at the two hospitals. All consumed raw minced celery sandwiches prepared by the hospital food services.