Saturday, June 4, 2011


There is still no solution to the mysterious E.coli bacteria outbreak in Europe. We don't know what the source was, but the main suspects are still cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes.

People are getting nervous and forgoing their salad. First in Spain, now in other European countries as well, farmers are having to throw out their vegetable crops, or feed them to the goats and pigs. The market vendors are suffering too. The German government has advised people not to eat raw vegetables. That means no cucumber salad, no tomatoes on your sandwich, and no salads.

In Hamburg, the center of this deadly outbreak, the main market has few customers and sales have fallen. Even the U.S. military bases in Germany are pulling tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers from the menus, salad bars and commissary shelves. And American Airlines has taken green salads off its menus on flights out of Europe.

But it's not just in Germany. People in other European countries are also being more cautious about fresh vegetables and especially the three main suspects. Even in Britain, farmers are having to discard tons of salad crops because of poor demand - not just of cucumbers, but also of lettuce, tomatoes - and even peppers. As of today, there have been at least 11 confirmed cases of this illness in the UK - four among visiting Germans, and the rest among Brits who recently visited Northern Germany, or, had close contact with someone from there.

Russia has gone so far as to ban import of all vegetables from Europe, which will also hit European farmers hard since it is a major market for their produce.

With all these bailouts and other problems, that's all the EU needed.
To your good health!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the staples of dining out in the USA is the choice of soup or salad for the first course. If you request salad you normally receive a pedestrian combination of lettuce, tomato and cucumber, probably mass produced some time (days?) earlier. This task probably is assigned to the least qualified, and unsupervised person, in the kitchen. As such it is likely to be the most dangerous item on the menu. From now on, I'm taking the soup.