So it wasn\’t Spanish cucumbers

Nor the organic manure spread on them:

Beansprouts are a common ingredient in salads and stir frys, but have previously been blamed for major health scares. They were held responsible for a serious outbreak of Salmonella in Britain last year and 17 E.coli-related deaths in Japan in 1996.

On Sunday evening, Gert Lindemann, agriculture minister in the northern state of Lower-Saxony, said a company that grew bean sprouts had been shut down and further test results were expected on Monday.

\”There was a very clear trail (to this company) as the source of the infection,\” Mr Lindemann said in a news conference. He urged consumers in northern Germany to refrain from eating all types of sprouts.

\”It is the most convincing…source for the E.coli illnesses,\” he said.

Wonder what did cause the sprouts to get infected though?

Makes Joanna Blythman\’s wibbles about industrial agriculture prety stupid too: this was local food for local people.

8 comments on “So it wasn\’t Spanish cucumbers

  1. Bean sprouts are soaked in water and then left in a cool dark place to germinate.

    It is hard for me to think of an easier way to give people serious infections just off hand.

    The seeds are only washed – not boiled or heated in any way. Nor are they irradiated. So they have some level of whatever soil they had on them before. There is little guarantee the water is perfectly clean, although usually it is. They are then left to sit, damp, for days. They should be drained because they rot, but that is harder than it looks.

    Then we eat them. No surprise people get sick.

  2. And meanwhile in Almeria, where they consider themselves world leaders in industrialised horticulatural practices (including traceability) they are quite rightly, hopping mad.

    No cases anywhere else in Europe, no history from Spanish veggies and salad stuff. A couple of ‘slightly’ contaminated cucumbers at destination (who picked them up and from where) are no excuse for the witch hunt.

    Everybody has been delighted to piss on Spain. But not everything here is crap.

    Apologies will not be enough. The damage done to reputation and future sales is unbelievable. Time for Germany and/or Eu to open the wallet.

    And it does look like small isn’t always beautiful.

    Glad we haven’t got the loony greenie here.

  3. Bit of a shame you haven’t apologised for your original fear-spreading, though (“I saw yesterday (where, sorry, forgotten) that the source is known. Imperfectly cooked manure used by the Spanish organic producer. This back to Nature movement has something to answer for… there’s only one language these people understand… string ’em up… etc etc”). Or even retracted it. I’d presumed you had higher standards than the Torygraph.

    Tim adds: Me? Standards? Hah!

  4. Nick Drew over at C&W ponders whether these small scale hobby farmers are in to an EU scam subsidy. Now that would be ironic.

  5. Exactamundo. The beansprouts may be a vector but they aren’t the source. The source is faecal material from an alimentary tract. That needs to be tracked down to stop the pollution.

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