The Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia Coli bacteria-contaminated cucumbers (EHEC) infected more than 276 people in Germany (2/3 are women) causing at least three deaths. And after the European Commission, other countries are also affected, as the Sweden with ten cases of contamination, the Denmark with four cases, the United Kingdom with three cases and the Netherlands with a case.
Symptoms and modes of transmission
The bacterium E. Enterohemorrhagic e. can cause diarrhea can be accompanied by bleeding, It can lead to kidney problems and result in death. According to the Robert-Koch Institute (RKI), German federal institution in charge of sanitary control and the fight against diseases, This disease is highly contagious and is transmitted by raw but vegetables also by human contact. Being of a 10-day incubation period, It is likely that the number of victims increases in the days to come.
Contamination of vegetables is probably made by human or animal feces (manure for example). The Robert-Koch Institute looks at the question to learn more.
Suspected Spanish producers
The city state of Hamburg conducted four tests on cucumbers. Three results show that contamination comes from two Spanish producers cucumbers, Hortofruticola located in Almería and Bio Franet Pepino, a producer of cucumbers “bio” in the province of Malaga in Andalusia. That cucumbers “bio” are infected can surprise more than one, But seeing the derivative products “bio” are victims, especially abroad, it surprise us less (see the article Industrialization of organic).
The Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Rosa Aguilar, says, to defend his country, « no clue “no evidence” contamination of cucumbers with mediated transmission of a bacterium comes from Spain », reports l’AFP. It adds : « It is not known where could happen the contamination and the European Commission has highlighted the fact that it could have occurred outside the country of origin «and expressed concern about the possible «» irreversible damage "for the sector.
Steps are being taken
- German health authorities, anxious in response to the epidemic, advise to avoid consuming cucumbers but also tomatoes and raw salads and more particularly those who come from the North of the Germany.
- The Russia as for it not was, a priori, of victims but said that it could break all importation of vegetables from Germany.
- The Sweden fears that the victims are the face immersed of the iceberg and thinks that the situation is likely to worsen in the coming days.
- In Switzerland, COOP, second great distribution chain, has said : « As a precaution, We immediately removed all cucumbers of Spain, in the Switzerland ». Other large distribution chains say local products in season and are therefore not affected by this problem. One case of disease was declared in Switzerland, It's a woman returning from a trip to Germany.
- In France, the DGCCRF (Directorate-General for competition, Consumption and the Repression of fraud) « monitors very closely the situation "reports it Figaro, even if for the moment no case is declared.
French vegetable growers
While in Germany the loss of turnover is estimated at two million euros per day, and that consumption of salads, tomatoes and cucumbers fell by 90%, reports l’AFP, french producers fear psychosis and a decline in consumption in France.
The Federation of producers of tomatoes and cucumbers from France explained in a press release « that of origin France cucumbers are in no way involved in this health crisis and that French production conditions have nothing to do with those practised in Spain both environmentally and socially ».
On the be repeated enough, eat the most local possible, season and still better bio (but local and seasonal), to limit its exposure to the pesticides and other contamination.
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