the on again off again blame game – cucumbers

Just saw this story at and it seems that the German authorities are once again looking at cucumbers as the source of the e.coli infection outbreak. This time they found a cucumber in the compost of a family, where everyone got sick, and the 22 year old daughter has the life-threatening illness. (see I told you, cucumbers are bad for your health…. all it takes for me is the cucumber juice!!).

The cucumber – the first food found to be contaminated with the strain that has sickened thousands – was in the family’s compost, but there is no conclusive evidence that it’s the source.

“It’s unclear whether the cucumber infected the people, or the people the cucumber,” said Holger Paech, the spokesman for Saxony Anhalt state’s health ministry.

The father of the family had diarrhoea, the mother was admitted to hospital for several days and their 22-year-old daughter is among about 700 people across Europe with a severe complication that can lead to kidney failure.

She has been in hospital for almost two weeks.

“The family was sick,” Mr Paech said. “So, they could have contaminated the cucumber instead of the other way round.”

There has been no reported evidence of humans contaminating vegetables, but the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment maintained that “the finding does not allow any conclusions” because the cucumber had been lying in the compost between May 19 and May 30.

Laboratory tests on other samples taken from their house and from shops where they usually buy their vegetables all tested negative for the bacteria, he said.

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