Mama Nita’s Binalot, in Mill Woods, is under investigation for its potential connection to an E. coli outbreak. (Photo: Google)

Edmonton, Alberta

Five people sick with E. coli after eating at Mama Nita’s in Mill Woods: AHS

Five people have been sickened by E. coli after eating at Mama Nita’s Binalot restaurant in southeast Edmonton, Alberta Health Services said Thursday.

According to the Edmonton Journal, the health authority runs tests to confirm the source of the bug but officials are warning anyone who has eaten at the restaurant since March 15 to see a doctor right away if they have symptoms, and mention they may have been exposed to E. coli.

Lab tests have confirmed five people were infected with E. coli O157:H7, which can cause diarrhea that may be bloody. In a small proportion of cases, the bacteria can cause severe symptoms, such as kidney failure. Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of complications from E. coli.

E. coli infections can be caused by consuming food or 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, and can last for up to 10 days, an AHS news release said Thursday. Anyone with questions can speak to a registered nurse at Health Link by calling 811.

The Journal reports that health inspectors inspected Mama Nita’s on Tuesday, and the operators are co-operating with public health officials, the news release said. Public health officials are working with staff to improve their hand hygiene, re-educate workers on food safety, and monitor food-handling processes, AHS said.

AHS restaurant inspection records show Mama Nita’s restaurant has been cited for eight critical violations during the last two years, including improperly leaving meat at room temperature, dirty cloths and sponges in the kitchen and a lack of hand-washing materials.