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New E. coli infection discovered at Calgary preschool

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UPDATE: After further testing, Fueling Brains Academy said Alberta Health Services confirmed a case of E. coli in a one-year-old child at its West 85th location – despite previous claims that tests had come back negative. A previous story continues below.

Fueling Brains Academy (FBA), the preschool and daycare company at the centre of an E. coli outbreak last year, is dealing with another case.

FBA declined an interview with CTV News, but in a statement, the company confirms a one-year-old child who goes to their West 85 location has tested positive for E. coli.

“We promptly notified parents and Alberta Health Services. We have no evidence this originated at the campus, nor that it has spread; however, out of an abundance of caution, we voluntarily closed the West 85th campus for the remainder of the week to allow for deep cleaning and to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” the statement reads.

A note on the door at the daycare asks parents avoid taking their children to other childcare centres for the remainder of the week.

“Safety remains a top priority and we are working with our families, our staff, and Alberta Health Services to determine next steps,” the statement goes on to say.

Monitor your child's health: AHS

Alberta Health Services (AHS) says it is aware of one suspected case of E. coli in a child at the Calgary daycare and officials have reached out to the company for more information.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the operator has voluntarily closed the facility," AHS wrote in a statement to CTV News on Thursday. "AHS will share more information as we learn more about this situation."

Later, AHS confirmed the results of recent inspections at the location:

"The child-care portion of the West 85th Fueling Brains Academy daycare location was last inspected on Feb. 21, 2024. No violations were found," AHS said.

"The food services portion of the West 85th Fueling Brains Academy daycare location was last inspected on April 25, 2024. No violations were found."

The agency urges parents to contact Health Link at 811 or their family doctor if they develop symptoms.

Children presenting more severe symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea, should be taken to the emergency room right away.

In September 2023, 11 FBA locations were shut down after an E. coli outbreak, which originated in a Fueling Minds kitchen supplying the facilities with food.

There were at least 446 cases and, of those, 39 children and one adult were hospitalized.

The City of Calgary charged Fueling Minds Inc. and its two directors, Faisal Alimohd and Anil Karim, with serving food at childcare centres in Calgary without a food services business licence.

Faisal Alimohd is also the co-founder and FBA CFO, according to the company’s website.

Fueling Minds Inc. faces 12 charges and a total fine of up to $120,000.

They plead not guilty in November 2023.

A trial date has been set for Sept. 6, 2024.

With files from Teri Fikowski

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