Toronto (Sept. 28, 2018) - Princess Margaret Cancer Centre continues to work with Toronto Public Health who is leading the investigation into a case of Listeria infection traced back to food sold at the Druxy's in the hospital between August 9 and September 26, 2018. Any individual who ate non-prepackaged food, such as hot and cold deli sandwiches, at the restaurant during this period is asked to watch for signs and symptoms of Listeria and seek medical attention if they have symptoms. The restaurant remains closed by order of Toronto Public Health. The investigation continues.

In most healthy people, consumption of food contaminated with Listeria results in no symptoms or a self-resolving gastrointestinal infection, with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and feeling generally unwell for a few days. However, in people with weakened immune systems, certain chronic illnesses, the elderly, and pregnant women, serious illness can occur and immediate medical attention should be sought. Symptoms of Listeria can arise from three days to three months from consumption of contaminated food.

Everyone at UHN is very distressed that a food vendor in our facility has sold food to customers, which has made them ill. This is not the first incident involving this vendor.

Many of the patients at the Princess Margaret are immune compromised, which makes them vulnerable to organisms of all sorts and the individuals managing this food outlet are well aware of that fact. As a hospital, we cannot tolerate the sale of food which makes people ill, and we have lost all confidence in the ability of this vendor to provide safe food. In the first instance of closure, we were assured that all measures had been taken and that the facility was approved to reopen by Toronto Public Health. This is why the current incident is so concerning to us.

Given that we've had patients develop listeria after eating at this vendor's establishment, and the fact that Toronto Public Health has closed this outlet before, we will be taking steps to terminate our lease with this vendor.

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