NEWS

E. coli poisoning leaves 7 sick after eating at Marché 27

01/15/2014 11:17 EST | Updated 03/17/2014 05:59 EDT
The owner of the Montreal restaurant where seven people contracted E. coli from tartare is blaming the supplier for delivering contaminated meat.

Jason Masso said he's been serving tartare — a raw meat dish — at Marché 27 for six years and has never had a problem until now. 

He said his restaurant, located in the plateau neighbourhood, has passed all inspections. He said he wants to reassure the public that he has addressed the problem and his restaurant is safe. 

"I want to make sure this never happens again," Masso told CBC News.

"There's a lady that was hospitalized ... like critically ill — that to me is extremely important."

Agriculture ministry under fire

Although Masso has admitted that his restaurant was at the centre of the E. coli poisonings, the agriculture ministry is refusing to confirm that information. 

The ministry confirmed that it had traced all seven instances back to the same restaurant, but it has refused to release the name of the restaurant or even the city that it's located in.

A ministry spokesperson explained that in this type of investigation, the restaurant cannot be named in case file goes to court.

Now a patients' advocacy group is criticizing the ministry for holding back that information. It says the public has a right to know where the E. coli was contracted.

"[This] information should be known to the public because it is of the utmost public interest, if not health hazard interest," said Paul Brunet, the chair of Montreal's Conseil pour la protection des malades.

The ministry of agriculture says it has done a rigorous inspection of the restaurant and the investigation is still underway.

A ministry spokesperson said there is no risk to the public at the moment. 

MORE:cbcNews