March 26, 2004

IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM THE MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH
Boil Water Advisory issued for Mount Albert grocery store

NEWMARKET - A Boil Water Advisory has been issued by the York Region Medical Officer of Health to the IGA, 19263 Highway 48, Mount Albert, Town of East Gwillimbury. Routine water testing at the store indicates E-coli contamination in a water sample.
 
The source of contamination is under investigation. This advisory is limited to the one location. Residents in the area are assured that the municipal water supply is safe.
 
Contaminated water, however, may have been used to wash fresh produce. Store patrons who have purchased fruit and vegetable produce between March 17 and 26 are advised to discard products that are not pre-packaged or that will not be peeled or cooked before consumption. Water taken from the store’s water dispensing unit should also be discarded.
 
The IGA store will offer refunds for products that are discarded for this reason, upon presentation of a receipt for purchases made during the suspect period.
 
The grocery store remains open for business. It is discarding all affected store produce and must use alternate water supplies until the advisory has been lifted. All other food products in the store are unaffected.
 
In general, a boil water advisory means all water to be used for cooking or drinking must be brought to a boil and boiled for at least 1 minute prior to use.  A safe alternative to using boiled water is to use bottled water.
 
E.coli are bacteria that are commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. There are different types of E.coli, some of which are not harmful to people and some which can cause serious illness. E.coli infections usually cause diarrhea, which is often bloody, and severe abdominal cramps. There is generally little or no fever. Seek medical assistance if symptoms occur.
 
There have been no reports of illness.
 
An investigation is being conducted by York Region Health Services, the Ministry of the Environment and the Town of East Gwillimbury. The Boil Water Advisory will remain in effect until resamples indicate no further contamination within the water supply. Residents will be notified when this occurs.
 
For more information contact York Region Health Services Safe Water Line at
1-877-464-9675, Ext. 4128.

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

 
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