|E.coli: not just from hamburger meat|
Breaking news from Germany: 10 people killed from an infection by Shiga toxin producing E.coli. The infections came from eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce that were bought in northern Germany. The cucumbers were imported from Spain and were sold in supermarkets in Hamburg.
Shiga toxin producing E. coli outbreaks are typically linked to unpasteurized milk and cheese and undercooked beef. Symptoms include high fever, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure and even death (Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome). Jack in the Box restaurant made E.coli a household word in 1993 with a famous outbreak of serious food borne illness.
Consumption of fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet, except when contaminated by bacteria such as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Vegetables are typically contaminated by manure fertilizer or by farm water run off. Not thoroughly washing vegetables can be hazardous.
I am off to Honduras for our yearly medical relief trip tomorrow morning, where, among other things, I hope to avoid traveler's diarrhea and dysentery.