CNE introduces new food safety procedures after 'cronut' burger incident
The Canadian National Exhibition -- famous for its selection of grease-laden hybrid foods -- will introduce some new food-safety procedures this summer after more than 200 fair-goers reported becoming ill last year after eating the much-hyped "cronut" burger.
This year, vendors will be required to provide the CNE a full list of all the foods they will be preparing and selling. Food inspectors will also be paying closer attention to the temperature items are being stored at.
Another measure the CNE will be introducing is off-site inspections for food items that will be served up on the fair grounds.
"If it's in Toronto, we'll be inspecting those premises prior to the food being taken to the CNE," Sylvanus Thompson, a Toronto Public Health spokesperson, told CTV Toronto. "We'll be looking at all the foods that will be transported to the CNE to ensure there is no … cross-contamination."
The CNE's general manager David Bednar says food safety at the fair "has always been and will always be a top priority." He says he believes most people who will be attending the fair this year will not be worried about becoming ill when they bite into something sweet or savoury.
"I'm absolutely confident people have the confidence they need to come to the CNE and enjoy a meal and not worry about being sick," Bednar told CTV Toronto.
Last year, more than 200 people reported getting sick after eating a "cronut" burger. The burger, which consisted of a beef patty topped with cheese that was sandwiched between a croissant-doughnut bun, also led to more than 79 cases of foodborne illness. It was sold at Epic Burgers and Waffles.
A Toronto Public Health (TPH) investigation into the incident found that a topping used on the burger was contaminated by Staphylococcus aureus toxin, a recognized cause of food borne illness. The TPH said the cause of the contamination was likely poor refrigeration. The burger was later voluntarily pulled off the menu.
This year, 20 food inspectors will be on site at the CNE's food building on the fair's opening day to conduct a full inspection. They will return a week later to conduct another full inspection. There will also be small group of food inspectors working at the CNE daily.
The CNE will open its gates to the public on Friday. A full list of this year's Franken-weird food creations is expected on Wednesday.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Zuraidah Alman