Cambridge man among 34 sick after attending CNE
A total of 34 people have reported falling ill at the Canadian National Exhibition on Tuesday, prompting public health inspectors to temporarily close down a popular food vendor.
Among those affected was Cambridge resident Chris Parnell, who went to the CNE yesterday with his wife and child.
“I decided to try the new cronut burger, and that didn’t turn out so well,” Parnell tells CTV News.
The cronut burger – a hamburger patty with a part-croissant, part-donut bun – has been one of the hottest food items at this year’s exhibition.
It’s unclear if the cronut burger was the source of all 12 illnesses, but Parnell says it’s the only food item he ate during his visit.
About two hours after eating the burger, Parnell started to feel stomach pains and his family decided it was time to head home.
“I didn’t even make it back to my car before I got violently ill and started vomiting,” he says.
Between the exhibition fairgrounds and Mississauga, Parnell says he pulled over to the side of the road several times for further vomiting.
He then pulled off the road, heading for a Tim Horton’s in Mississauga.
“Once we exited I blacked out and my wife had to call the ambulance,” he says.
Paramedics were able to revive Parnell, but he then blacked out a second time and was taken to a Brampton hospital.
Epic Burger, which makes the cronut burger, was temporarily shuttered Wednesday.
Officials say it will remain closed until investigators can figure out what caused the vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps reported by 12 people, five of whom were taken to hospital.
CNE organizers say they are "very concerned" about the situation and about the people affected by it.
"An expert team is onsite at the CNE investigating the situation," the CNE said in a statement.
"The CNE has stringent food safety regulations in place which are monitored daily."
Anyone who fell sick after visiting the CNE yesterday is being asked to contact the City of Toronto or the CNE at 416-598-7285.
As for the cronut burger itself, Parnell says he has fond memories up until the moment he became sick.
“It was actually pretty good. It was a good combination of sweet and salty,” he says.
“I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t do it again.”
With files from The Canadian Press