January 26, 2016 – Residents Advised to Throw Out Certain Brands of Pre-packaged Salads

The Peterborough Public Health has been asked by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to contact local institutions that serve vulnerable populations (e.g. hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, child care centres) to check for recalled products that could potentially be contaminated with Listeria.

“If the recalled products are found, operators will be instructed to discard them and contact their supplier or return to the location where it was purchased,” explained Atul Jain, Manager of Inspection Services.  “We are also advising local residents to check for certain Dole brand pre-packaged salad and leafy greens and PC Organics brand leafy greens and throw them out to protect themselves and their families from possible Listeria infection.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections in five provinces. To date, the source of this outbreak has not been confirmed. However prepackaged leafy greens, salad blends, and salad kits are food items being investigated. This notice will be updated as new information becomes available.

At this time, the risk to residents is low, but given that Listeria can cause severe illness to some high-risk groups, Canadians are being asked to review and follow proper safe food handling practices in an effort to prevent illnesses.

Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be found in food, soil, plants, sewage and other places in nature. Eating food with Listeria on it can cause a serious disease, called listeriosis, in high-risk groups. People can get listeriosis by eating meat, fish, dairy products, plants or vegetables contaminated with Listeria.

Ongoing Investigation

Currently, there are seven (7) cases of Listeria monocytogenes in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (3), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between September 2015 and early January 2016. The majority of cases (71%) are female, with an average age of 81 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and one person has died, however it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the cause of death. 1

Additional information

Please also see the Listeria Fact Sheet attached to this release for additional details.

1 Public Health Agency of Canada


For further information, please contact:

Atul Jain
Manager, Inspection Services
Peterborough Public Health
705-743-1000, ext. 259



January 21, 2016 – Today Peterborough Public Health together with other local community partners announced they were successful in surpassing its campaign goal of $204,000 needed to build Myrtle’s Kitchen at its new Jackson Square location in downtown Peterborough.  A total of $222,886 was raised towards the project.  The additional donations will help cover construction contingencies, programming costs, and to purchase equipment to outfit the new kitchen.

“We are enormously grateful to our amazing donors who didn’t hesitate to support this campaign and make Myrtle’s Kitchen a reality for our community,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Their generosity is matched only by their passion for better public health.  Our donors understand how local residents and their families will benefit over the long term thanks to the cooking skills and nutritious meals that they will enjoy here.”

MPP Jeff Leal was on hand to commend the fundraising team’s success, and acknowledge the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation which contributed $61,100 grant towards Myrtle’s Kitchen.  “I am pleased that our government through the Ontario Trillium Foundation was a partner in this project that will be located right here in the downtown. Myrtle’s Kitchen will improve the quality of life of our community by establishing a regional, shared meeting place where people can come together to access healthy food and learn valuable life skills. Congratulations to all the local partners associated with this project.”

Named in honour of Myrtle Smith, the matriarch of AON’s Smith family who contributed the lead gift of the campaign, this new commercial-quality kitchen will be built on the second floor of Public Health’s new Jackson Square location.  PCCHU plans to issue RFPs shortly with a goal to open Myrtle’s Kitchen in the spring of 2016.  It will support a wide range of community programs to create food security for vulnerable residents in partnership with Nourish Project and other local partners, as well as nutrition and safe food handling programs.

“As the lead partner in the Nourish Project, a program that teaches food literacy through growing, cooking, eating and advocating for good food, we’re delighted to see the dream of a community kitchen come true,” said Lynn Zimmer, Executive Director, YWCA Peterborough Haliburton.  “The YWCA has done food work for more than 25 years because we believe it has the power to move communities, especially women and children, toward thriving.  Now that the kitchen will be built, we are actively seeking investment to support our food programming, including that which will take place at Myrtle’s Kitchen.”

“Good food can have a transformative impact on our community,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “We know that 11.5% of our local households experience food insecurity which means that every day there are thousands of residents who cannot access healthy foods.”  She explained that by expanding the quality of food skills programs, and eliminating kitchen rental costs for community agencies who deliver these programs, Myrtle’s Kitchen will significantly benefit our most vulnerable populations.

Donors from across the county and city of Peterborough gathered to hear today’s special announcement. Major supporters of Myrtle’s Kitchen include the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, the Smith Family, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Flying Colours, Community Food Centres Canada, Sysco Central Ontario, LLF Lawyers LLP, Betty and Bill Morris, the Peterborough Foundation, and numerous family and individual donors.  A tribute wall will be designed in the main foyer leading into the Kitchen to recognize the support of the donors who contributed to the campaign.

A leading grantmaking foundation in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.  For more information, please visit: www.otf.ca

To make a donation towards future public health and nutritional programming in Myrtle’s Kitchen, please call 705-743-1000, ext. 264 or donate online at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca and click on “Make a Donation”.  Donations to support the Nourish Project can be easily made online by visiting http://nourishproject.ca/donate.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391


January 19, 2016 – With the forecast of warmer temperatures Peterborough Public Health is lifting the Frostbite Alert issued on January 18, 2016 for residents of Peterborough County and City and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations.

Even though the Frostbite Alert has been lifted, residents are reminded to take precautions in cold weather, including dressing warmly and in layers, watching for signs of hypothermia and frostbite, and checking on the elderly and people with disabilities who live alone.  The Public Health will continue to monitor the weather forecasts throughout the winter and issue frostbite alerts, warnings or emergencies when forecasted temperatures or wind chill values reach thresholds as indicated in the Extreme Cold Response Plan.

Further information about staying healthy in extreme cold conditions and Public Health’s Extreme Cold Response Plan can be found at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca under “My Home & Environment” by clicking on “Extreme Weather – Cold”.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391


January 19, 2016 – Eligible Residents Can Now Sign Up at Service Ontario

Changes that took effect January 1, 2016 now make it easier for parents to find out if their children aged 17 years and under qualify for free dental care under the newly integrated Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

“Good oral health is essential to good overall health as it affects children’s self-esteem and sense of well-being,” said Sarah Tanner, Program Manager of Oral Health Services at Peterborough Public Health.  “Children who experience dental pain have a harder time sleeping and learning at school, so making it easier for them to access free dental care when the cost is a barrier is one of the most significant investments we can make for a healthier society.”

According to Public Health’s 2013 Oral Health in Peterborough Report, one-third of local residents are not covered by dental insurance, and fewer people with low incomes had dental insurance compared to those with higher incomes.  Each year, there is an average of 1,000 emergency department visits in Peterborough for oral health issues.

Ms. Tanner explained that Healthy Smiles Ontario has been streamlined to encompass all publicly funded dental programs for youth.  Enrolment in this program has also been centralized across the province so parents can contact any Service Ontario centre or go online to www.ontario.ca/healthysmiles to find out if their children qualify or to register.  Residents can also contact Peterborough Public Health for help by calling 705-743-1000 or by visiting the Community Dental Health Centre in Peterborough Square.

Children 17 and under are automatically eligible and automatically enrolled in Healthy Smiles Ontario when they or their family receive: Ontario Works, Temporary Care Assistance, Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities or the Ontario Disability Support Program.  Children and youth with other dental insurance coverage are no longer automatically excluded.

For further information, please visit www.ontario.ca/healthysmiles  or call Service Ontario toll-free 1-844-296-6306.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

January 18, 2015 – Public Health Issues First Frostbite Alert for January 18-19 for the City and County of Peterborough and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations

Weather Alert - COLD L1aThe Peterborough Public Health has issued the first Frostbite Alert of the season because of forecasted wind chill values of -28 from January 18 to 19. This Frostbite Alert remains in effect until further notice.

Extreme cold events are a potentially significant health risk and can have a severe impact on the health of vulnerable populations including infants, the elderly, people with circulatory problems, and the marginally housed.  Local social service agencies rely on Public Health frostbite alerts to determine if services should be extended or enhanced.

In order to protect the health of people in Peterborough County and City and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, Public Health advises local residents to take the following precautions:

  • Check face and extremities frequently for signs of frostbite. Exposed skin can freeze in as little as 10 to 30 minutes.
  • Consider re-scheduling outdoor recreational activities, especially during the evening. There is a serious risk of hypothermia and frostbite if outdoors for long periods.
  • Use caution when shoveling snow especially for those that have heart, respiratory (breathing) problems or other medical conditions. Snow shoveling is strenuous and can cause an onset of heart or respiratory problems.
  • Check on the elderly or people with disabilities living alone.

What clothing should be worn outdoors?

Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk.

Here are some useful tips:

  • Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold.
  • Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to cover your nose to protect it.
  • If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you’re wet.

Cold related illnesses include:

Symptoms/signs include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling/uncoordinated movements, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness. Frostbite:           

Symptoms/signs include: white/greyish skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, or numbness.

Increases in other health problems can also be seen, especially for those with other chronic medical conditions such as heart conditions.

Further information about the health risks of extreme cold and Public Health’s Extreme Cold Response Plan can be found at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca under “My Home & Environment” by clicking on “Extreme Weather – Cold”.




For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

January 16, 2016 – Flu Vaccine is a Good Match This Year

The Peterborough Public Health reported the first local lab-confirmed case of seasonal influenza today.

“The case is lab-confirmed for influenza B, and we now know that seasonal influenza is circulating in our local population,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “Usually there are more cases of influenza in the community than are reported by the lab so we strongly encourage residents to get their flu shot to protect themselves and others – it’s not too late.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that this year’s flu vaccine is a good match to the strains that are known to be circulating in Ontario according to the latest reports from Public Health Ontario.  “The match is even better for kids who received the publicly funded quadrivalent vaccine, available in both nasal spray and needle.”

The flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age.  It is especially important for people with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, young children, the elderly and anyone who takes care of people in these groups.

Flu shots are widely available at many local pharmacies, from physician offices, and local walk-in clinics.

The Public Health is also offering an influenza vaccine clinic at its new location at Jackson Square, 185 King St. by appointment, on Saturday, January 16, 2016, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

To book an appointment, please call 705-743-1000, ext. 349. Walk-ins are also welcome between 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday, January 16. Clinic services is located on the first floor.

Dr. Salvaterra advised that in addition to getting the flu shot people take the following precautions to reduce the spread of infection:

  • Stay home if feeling unwell
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Clean and sanitize commonly-used surfaces frequently
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or tissue and washing hands afterwards



For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391




January 15, 2016 – To view the summary of the January 13 Board of Health meeting click the image below.

Screen Shot 01-15-16 at 03.09 PM

January 8, 2015 –  Location: J.K. Edwards Board Room, Peterborough Public Health,
Jackson Square, 185 King St., Third Floor

Media and the community are advised that the Board of Health will meet on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

Guests are asked to use the buzzer located on the wall to the right of the main front doors to alert Public Health staff when they are ready to enter the building. The board room is located on the third floor of Jackson Square, 185 King St. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. on the street or across the road at the King St. Parkade.

To download the agenda and the online board package, please visit:

The meeting is open to the community and members of the media.

For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391