Investigation doesn't determine source of E. coli outbreak at Oakland restaurant

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At least a dozen customers and workers at The Porch at Schenley in Oakland were sickened by E. coli -- but an investigation did not determine the source of the bacteria, the Allegheny County Health Department said today.

While 12 cases were confirmed, nine others had suggestive symptoms, the department said in a media release.

But where the bacteria came from is still unclear, the department said.

"We have been unable to pinpoint the source of the E. coli -- whether it came from a particular food product, food handling or a combination of both,” health director Karen Hacker said.

Most who got sick had eaten hamburgers.

The county health department said Oct. 30 that at least five people had become sick since the beginning of the month. After The Porch, part of the Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, closed for cleaning and reopened Oct. 31, no further cases were reported, the department said.

The strain of E. coli in question, 0157:H7, can cause serious illness, department officials said, though symptoms -- such as severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting -- usually appear three or four days after exposure.

Lexi Belculfine: or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.

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