Jun 26 2011

E. coli 0104 Blamed For New French Outbreak. Graehm Gray

Hello my fans and yes, the Shiga-toxin producing bacteria E. Coli 0104:H4 is now being blamed for the hospitalizations and  infections of seven people from the French city of Bordeaux. Over 40 people have been killed and thousands have been infected as a result of the German outbreak of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) associated with bean sprouts grown at an organic farm in the northern part of Germany ((Gaertnerhof farm in the village of Buenenbuettel). The culprit this time, according to French authorities, is a vegetable sprout grown from fenugreek and  mustard seeds that apparently came from a British mail order company (Thompson & Morgan). The infected victims recalled eating gazpacho topped with sprouts.

The British Food Standards Agency is advising all people not to eat sprouted seeds including alfalfa, mung beans (or bean sprouts) and fenugreek unless “they are cooked until steaming hot throughout.”

France also stopped the sale of fenugreek, mustard and arugula sprout seeds from the British company.

No one is sure if the seeds used to make the sprouts are from the same group of seeds used to make the German sprouts.

One week ago, seven children in the French city of Lille, were infected with E. coli linked to frozen ground beef.  The children, ranging in ages from 18 months to 8 years old, were being treated for the hemolytic uremic syndrome- which is a serious blood and kidney ailment. This E. coli was suspected to be the 0157 type and not linked to the German E. coli 0104.

Bottom line: my opinion: if you are traveling to Europe this summer, stay away from the uncooked spouts. According to the CDC, high risk foods to stay away from include: unpasteurized (raw) milk, unpasteurized apple cider and soft cheeses made from raw milk. Do not eat undercooked hamburgers! Make sure all vegetables are thoroughly washed.

Here are some additional tips from the CDC:

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food. WASH YOUR HANDS after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard).
  2. COOK meats thoroughly. Ground beef and meat that has been needle-tenderized should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F/70˚C. It’s best to use a thermometer, as color is not a very reliable indicator of “doneness.”
  3. AVOID raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices (like fresh apple cider).
  4. AVOID swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, and backyard “kiddie” pools.
  5. PREVENT cross contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat. 

My friends, stay fit and healthy, The Nerdel Way:

Important links to follow:

  1. CDC E. coli: www.cdc.gov/ecoli/
  2. WHO : www.who/int/
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