E. Coli Outbreak in Europe
Another E. coli attack has already taken 16 lives this week in Europe. The bacteria has been traced back to Germany, but cases have been reported in over 9 countries in Europe. Most patients who have been interviewed said they ate lettuce, tomatoes or cucumbers, but officials testing produce across the continent have yet to find any vegetables with the particular strain involved. Cucumbers seem to show the most contamination, although the source has not yet been identified. Over 1600 people have been reported with food poisoning from the bacteria, and to make the issue more challenging - 470 have been said to suffer from a kidney failure complication requiring dialysis and transfusions and leading to death. Investigators have now identified the rare specific strain of E. coli, but are still searching for the producer/company from which it originated.
It is amazing to think that this is not an uncommon phenomenon. This is just one outbreak among many in recent history. This latest outbreak in Germany should be a warning sign to Americans to remind us of the dangers E. coli poses in the food supply. Sadly, we must all realize that our food is not necessarily safe. This is why eating locally is so important. When you can ask and see where your food comes from, you can be sure that what you are getting is safe. These outbreaks do not happen on small family farms – rest assured. Protect yourself and your family from harmful outbreaks like this, by eating local.
For more information on this outbreak and the details of what E. coli is and why it is a treat: please reference this article.