Edmonton

AHS confirms three more cases of salmonella connected to Folk Fest food booth

Three more cases of lab-confirmed salmon poisoning have been found in relation to food sold from a booth at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.

The cases discovered over the weekend bring the total to 22 people affected

Twenty two cases of lab-confirmed salmonella poisoning have been linked to food bought from the Haweli Restaurant food booth at Edmonton Folk Music Festival. (CBC)

Three more cases of salmonella poisoning have been linked to food served at a booth at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival three weeks ago, Alberta Health Services confirmed Tuesday.

On Friday, AHS reported 19 cases of lab-confirmed salmonella linked to food bought at the Haweli Restaurant booth, but the total has now been raised to 22.

Talia Johnson,18, ate mango butter chicken on the first night of the festival on Aug. 11. A week later at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital, Johnson was diagnosed with salmonella poisoning, and appendicitis.

She underwent emergency surgery to have her appendix removed. She said doctors told her the appendicitis was a result of the poisoning.

Talia Johnson was hospitalized after being diagnosed with salmonella poisoning and appendicitis. (Talia Johnson)

Folk festival producer Terry Wickham said Tuesday he's "very distressed" about the salmonella cases.

"Obviously I'm very distressed. Our patrons are very loyal," Wickham said. "In the case of this young woman, she's been coming for four years. My automatic reaction was, what can we do?"

Wickham said he wanted to reach out to all of the people who have been affected by the salmonella poisoning but said AHS told him to refrain until the investigation had been completed.

He said it was the first time a food-poisoning outbreak has happened in the 29 years he has worked with the festival.

"We're going to make it as right as we can for people that it happened to," said Wickham.

"The second part is to make sure that it doesn't happen again."

In a statement Friday, AHS said Environmental Public Health has since inspected the downtown Haweli Restaurant and inspectors are satisfied that food safety requirements are being met.

Calls to the restaurant for comment had not been returned at the time of publication on Tuesday.

Travis.mcewan@cbc.ca

@Travismcewancbc