Canada has seen more of its fair share of food-borne illness in recent months, especially with the Maple Leaf listeria outbreak that has killed 20.   Now its got a full-blown E. coli outbreak on its hands as well.

Ontario’s North Bay Parry Sound Health District today is reporting its:

…caseload of people who are ill with symptoms of E coli O157:H7 has increased overnight, as was anticipated. There are now 14 lab-confirmed cases of E coli and 38 are under investigation, bringing the total to 52 cases connected to this E coli outbreak investigation. All of the people who have become ill are linked to the Harvey’s Restaurant on Algonquin Avenue since September 28th 2008.

Unfortunately, because of the number of meals served at Harvey’s Restaurant on a daily basis and the long incubation period of E coli O157:H7, we did predict that there would be an increase in the number of people who might be affected.” says Dr. Catherine Whiting, Medical Officer of Health.   “Right now, I can tell you that the ages of the people who are ill range from 9 years old up to 84 years of age. Some of them are in hospital and some are recovering at home.”

Public Health Inspectors continue to collect information and analyze data to ensure that all possible sources of E coli are being investigated. City of North Bay emergency crews also conducted extra testing on the municipal water during the weekend. Lab test results confirm that drinking water is not the source.

For more from the Health District, go here.  North Bay is a city of about 54,000 in northeastern Ontario.  Its history is associated with the Canadian Pacific Railway.