Maple bacon jam on cronut burgers has sickened 223 people in Canada after they were found to be tainted with Staphylococcus aureus toxin.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) tested food samples and interviewed attendees after it received reports of food poisoning from people at the agriculture and technology fair between 16 -20 August.
TPH announced on August 23 that the source of the food poisoning was cronut burgers from Epic Burger and Waffles’s stand at the Canadian National Exhibition.
On August 27 TPH narrowed the contamination to maple bacon jam which coated the burger.
"New lab results indicate that the maple bacon jam, which is one component of the cronut burger, is the cause of foodborne illnesses at the CNE," said Dr David McKeown, Toronto's medical officer of health. "We have ensured the contaminated product is not served. There is no risk to the public."
"We will no longer do business” with culprit
The jam was supplied by Le Dolci, which has ceased manufacturing the product. It was made especially for Epic Burger and has not been sold elsewhere.
Epic Burger and Waffles reopened its stand at Canadian National Exhibition on Tuesday morning, but stopped serving cronut burgers, with or without the maple bacon jam.
A statement from Epic Burgers said TPH had “found that the burgers made by Epic Burgers and Waffles were and continue to be safe and of a high standard.
"The jam was used as a topping solely on one of our menu items, the cronut burger.
As a result of this finding Epic Burgers and Waffles have decided to remove the cronut burger from our menu and we will no longer do business with the aforementioned supplier."
“Part croissant. Part donut. All epic”.
The cronut is a part-croissant, part-donut hybrid. The term was trademarked by New York’s Dominique Ansel bakery in May, which claims to have invented the pastry, although that has recently been questioned .
Epic Burger and Waffles’ stand at the Canadian National Exhibition used halved cronuts as buns to serve beef burgers. The product was marketed to attendees with the tagline “Part croissant. Part donut. All epic.”
The National Post reported a statement emailed from Dominique Ansel bakery which criticised Epic Burger’s unauthorised creations:
“We hope they spend less time rushing to rip off another Chef’s product in bad faith, and more time on developing their own creative products, holding quality to the utmost of standards as we do.”
The bakery would not take action against Epic Burger, said the statement, in light of the vendor’s “recent failures of their own.”
Demand for official cronuts has become unmanageable, with queues forming outside Dominique Ansel two and a half hours before opening, and warnings from the company about a two-per-person cronut limit and avoiding “scalpers”.