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E-Coli outbreak - will we learn anything from this?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by marshypops, May 28, 2011.

  1. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    For my part I care a great deal where my food comes from, everything is checked. I do buy a veg box but get it from someone who also cares where the veggies come from.
    Sadly for the those that don't care it is down to cost, or rather, they are just bothered by the cost and nothing else is a factor in why they have bought it.
  2. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

  3. Yup!
    I just heard the news on the way home. There were EHEC bacteria on the Spanish cucumbers, but not the ones which caused the epidemic in North Germany.
    So the focus is back on Hamburg again.
  4. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    You'll have to forgive me, I couldn't find anthing in that article to suggest where the infection would have come from other than possibly where the cucumbers were grown. We have no idea what hapens to them after they are grown, picked and end up in the supermarkets.The story will surface eventually, but so far, nobody knows for certain who's to blame.
  5. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    According to BBC website tonight the e-coli is a new strain which is why it is having such a wide impact and why it is spreading so much. Normally e-coli affects the young/old/weak but apparently most of the victims are younger women. I would say that this is probably because there is probably a higher proportion of younger women who eat salad leaves than other groups and this is where they now think the source *could* have originated but no one is sure.
    This new strain means the bacteria adheres more strongly to the salad leaf and also to the wall of the gut which is why it is having such an affect.
    I would like to think it would make people think more carefully about where their food comes from but I am not so sure. It has certainly pressed home to me the importance of washing my veg properly though (which I admit I can be a bit haphazard about at times as I know all my stuff is organic.... not any more!)
  6. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    The only thing worth learning is to reduce the air miles and make it easier to trace when problems in the food supply chain occur.
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It's a shame that most Dutch tomatoes don't taste of anything much.
  8. jonkers

    jonkers New commenter

    I'm sorry but as a farmer I have to take issue with this. Cows are not "pumped" full of antibiotics, just as with a child or yourself they are treated if they are ill and other theraputic methods have failed. All milk is tested for antibiotics on a daily basis by buyers and the consequences for failure are disastrous - end of milk contract, end of business. We all drink unpasturised milk as do all our visitors.
    As for the vegetable/e coli debate, regardless of where this current outbreak came from, organic vegetables are grown with the use of FYM (and always have been) rather than so called artificial fertilisers. FYM or farm yard manure is of course a natural product which will be heaving with gut bacteria from the pig/cow/chicken and on some organic fams I have visited, human. I grow all our vegetables 'organically' - whatever that means, and use FYM as do all 'organic' producers, otherwise soil structure and fertility could not be maintained. However, I do wash everything that has been in contact with the soil. Pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilisers may well cause other health problems but bacterial infections are not amongst them.
  9. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Jonkers - I would not want my comments to come across as being against farmers. Far from it!
    I have no issues with farmers - I do, however, have issues with some supermarkets and their policies!
    My comments on the MRSA in milk came from an article I read - and also from experience of a small dairy farm who were some years ago faced with losing a contract with a major supermarket unless they adopting certain 'intensive' farming practices.
    I fully support organic farming (and farmers!). Most of the fruit/veg that I buy is organic - and the meat I buy is compassionately farmed - and locally sourced wherever posiible.
    My wish is that unfortunate outbreaks such as the German salad one, will force more people to look at how their food has been produced and sold. I would love to see the words 'organic' 'free-range' and 'fair-traid' no longer needed on food labels because all food was organic, free-range, fair-trade. (Reading back that looks confused....but I hope it's clearer than it looks!)
  10. I always said beansprouts were slightly sinister.

  11. And they are from an organic farm - so not consumers buying the cheapest of the cheap!
    However, it is still not known if this is the original source. It has been found there, but the company also buys in products from...wait for it...we are back to
    Hamburg Großmarkt!
    The restaurant in Lübeck and the golf hotel where the bacteria have also been found also bought from...Hamburg Großmarkt.
    However, even there we do not know if this is where the EHEC originated - as Hamburg is a major European shipping port and goods enter there from all around the world.
    So, for all we know - some of the beansprouts (or beans) could have been from the Far East and entered Hamburg, then were sold on to the organic farm in Uelzen. This particular farm is renowned for its very strict standards - so the focus is still on Hamburg (and possibly even further afield).
    The reason it is taking so long to find the exact source is because all the products have to be traced back through every single stopping point, delivery point, inbetween distribution points, end retailers and/or wholesale buyers, plus the original source. All possible - but time consuming! Some of those patients effected have not eaten cucumber, tomatoes, salad or beansprouts!

  12. The scientists here seem fairly convinced that the source is/is going to be organic. As I said, the farm where the bacteria have been found (not that they are necessarily the original source) are very stringent. I think the poor owner is absolutely devastated (two of his employees are also now infected).
    Also - the reason the epedemic is so difficult to get under control is because a) the bacteria - this particular one - is one that is combined of two separate previously known forms and it much more aggressive than they were/are and also the HUS, which those who have died or are in comas, is so difficult to treat as the effects are fairly unpredictable and different amongst those effected (some are having kidney failure, some brain damage, some heart problems etc).

  13. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    No, I am afraid I don't have a link - I was relying on the accuracy (or not?!) of BBC news.
    There have certainly been some very interesting developments over the past few days and I have every sympathy with the owner of the farm if it is finally traced back to there.
  14. No worries - I was really just wondering if we were hearing the whole story on German news [​IMG]
  15. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    I did a google search and most British sites are taking about the cases being mainly in young women rather than the elderly or young. That's how they tracked it down to salad ingredients.
  16. This is not true though - those infected have been spread across the board of gender and age, with women in their late 40s to mid 50s (i.e. affluent single women) being those most severely hit (those who mostly buy organic products or who go to the kind of hotel or restaurant where the bacteria have been found (not young women) and those who have developed HUS have been a mix of men and women, evenly spread out.
    According to German news...

  17. LOL, that would make me feel very young again!
    Yes, I often notice that German reports are different to the UK. The DM is the worst for it - I could scream sometimes when they write about events in Germany!
    The BBC is generally better - but not always right on the spot either.
    Of course, the German press could be lying to us as well!
  18. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    I just find it rather amusing that this is all down to organic salad particularly the two most pointless parts - beansprouts and/or cucumbers. Sad that I'll have to give the salad a dodge to be on the safe side. Have to stick to bread, steak frites and oysters on my upcoming trip to Europe!!
  19. *sigh*
    Apparently, it was the beansprouts.
    I wish they would make their blinking minds up and only make announcements when they are sure.
    All those poor farmers who have had to destroy perfectly good veg.
  20. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    two slight disagreements:
    1. I have never met a poor farmer in developed Europe
    2. Perfectly good veg was destroyed......and beansprouts[​IMG]

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