Wednesday, June 15, 2011
VEGETABLES ARE BEING UNFAIRLY BLAMED IN E.COLI 0104 OUTBREAK
The European outbreak caused by the new and super-toxic mutation of E.coli 0104 bacteria in food is finally winding down. As of now, the official number of illnesses stands at about 3,200 and the number of deaths at 37, including one child. But as I have been saying all along, these official numbers are always an underestimation. The German officials now acknowledge that it takes at least a week for statistics to travel from a hospital to the state authorities to the Robert Koch Institute, which is the federal authority for updating the numbers. (Are they really using snail mail in this situation?). Besides, many people still remain hospitalized with HUS, which has a high fatality rate.
And the blame-game is now winding down too. As you will recall, originally Spanish cucumbers were suspected, with other fresh vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes also placed on the "avoid" list in many countries. Then bean sprouts turned out to be the culprit. But "blame the vegetables" game is far from over. I have yet to see any news report which does not call sprouts a "vegetable" or at least imply that they are.
Don't they know sprouts are a legume? Yes, they are a plant too, but legumes are in a different plant family. Sprouts are related to beans, lentils, peanuts and soy - not to our veggies.
So, stop blaming them! And let's get back to eating them.
To your good health,