City health officials say the problem wasn't with the burger itself.
Earlier this morning, Toronto Public Health announced that it had found a more precise culprit in last week’s spate of cronut-burger-related food poisoning at the CNE: as it turns out, it’s not the beef that’s to blame, or even its croissant/doughnut hybrid bun, but maple bacon jam that was drizzled on top of every burger. (It’s the stuff that looks like cat vomit in the photo, above.)
The jam was a kind of slurry of bacon bits, maple syrup, sugar, and water. It wasn’t made in-house by Epic Burgers and Waffles, the food stand that sold the cronut burger, but rather by Le Dolci, a Dundas Street West pastry shop that also made the cronut burger’s bun.
Epic Burgers and Waffles reopened this morning after being closed for nearly a week, though the cronut burger is no longer on the menu. Le Dolci is now closed voluntarily while the City continues its health investigation.
Toronto Public Health’s Lisa Berger told reporters that while laboratory tests have identified the maple bacon jam as a source of Staphylococcus aureus toxin—a bacterial byproduct that causes food poisoning—it’s not yet clear who’s responsible for the mishap.
“There were some temperature control issues both at the supplier and on-site,” she said. (The supplier is Le Dolci and “on site” is Epic Burgers and Waffles.) Berger added that the City has samples of the jam taken directly from Le Dolci that are contaminated, indicating that the bakery may have been part of the problem.
Berger added that while Toronto Public Health has now received 223 reports of gastrointestinal illness from CNE visitors, only 79 of those cases have been confirmed to be related to the cronut burger.
Just as a reminder, the maple bacon jam was the one part of the cronut burger we didn’t like when we reviewed it, back before all this happened. Somehow, we just knew it was trouble.