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Spanish organic cucumbers....

(123 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 30-May-11 07:21:49

Anyone else feeling less than confident about the organic cucumber from Spain sitting in their fridge following this story about v nasty e-coli problems in Germany and Czech Rep?

Islandlady Mon 30-May-11 09:18:16


I only buy BRITISH cucumbers we DO grow them here you know

Why on earth do people refuse to support our own produce by buying foreign its no wonder our farmers and economy are in such dire straights

Stillchuckingit Mon 30-May-11 11:23:00

I am slightly worried as it happens (I live in mainland Europe btw)

Wish I had more info. I know e-coli can pass via secondary infection but how do you get it by eating cucumbers? Is it in inside the flesh, or is it on the skin? ARe you OK if you wash and peel it?

LinzerTorte Mon 30-May-11 11:42:20

Apparently it's inside the cucumber, so washing won't make any difference. We've been advised only to eat cucumbers grown here in Austria; a list was published of 30 organic retailers who had bought cucumbers from wholesalers in Germany and Lidl in certain parts of Austria also had "suspicious cucumbers" (I threw away a cucumber I'd bought from Lidl, even though our area isn't supposed to be affected).

There has also been talk of cross-contamination and avoiding all raw veg; it's all a bit worrying.

Butterbur Mon 30-May-11 11:58:39

This isn't the first time that food poisoning has been traced to Spanish salad produce. A few years ago it was iceberg lettuce in the UK that was the cause, IIRC.

The cause, as is suspected now, was the Spanish habit of watering salad crops with inadequately treated sewage.

Stillchuckingit Mon 30-May-11 12:27:53

yuck at the untreated sewage Butterbur

and thanks for info Linzer

I've just eaten a chicken salad for lunch containing organic endive, non-organic cucumber and tomatoes ...will report back in 3 hrs ...

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 30-May-11 12:29:01

Salad products like cucumber have a very, very high water content - they suck the stuff up like crazy. So if the water or natural fertilisers used on them is carrying a virus, this will contaminate the product.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Mon 30-May-11 12:29:35

Am I the only one who didn't know that ecoli could live in something as dull as a cucumber? Because I didn't.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Mon 30-May-11 12:33:20

I had no idea either, I remember the salad thing and am quite fanatical about washing leaves.

Scary stuff.

Butterbur Mon 30-May-11 12:38:54

E Coli is a bacterium, not a virus.

Canella Mon 30-May-11 12:48:50

if you go to the Robert Koch Institute page you can click on it in English and it gives the most up to date information. They are advising against eating raw salad at the moment.
I'm in Germany and I shop in Aldi. They only have one sort of cucumbers and i can say before this last week i never looked at where they came from so could have been exposed. And the ecoli has up to a weeks incubation period. Agree with Linzer - its scary times.

Beaaware Mon 30-May-11 14:48:38

If you read some of the comments by people on the Daily Mail Health section who live in Almeria, Spain where the contaminated produce is suspected to have come from one comment is particularly concerning. It says that there is a sewage treatment pond which is not maintained by the council and often overflows, it says that the water sewage feed pipe often gets blocked then sewage escapes from the pond into the river bed. The sewage water then winds its way down past fields where lettuces, melons etc are grown, water is pumped up to irrigate these fields. This person has said he can even provide photos of this problem.
So hardly surprising that vegetables are being contaminated, and it would make sense especially as it would appear the cucumbers have been contaminated whilst growing.
Also read that it can take upto 10 days before symptons of this infection in humans can appear.

KaraStarbuckThrace Mon 30-May-11 14:50:50

Euugghh. Times like this makes me glad I don't eat salad.

Stillchuckingit Mon 30-May-11 14:53:36

Will report back in ten days grin

TheCrackFox Mon 30-May-11 14:59:25

<puts down cucumber sandwich>

IlanaK Mon 30-May-11 15:26:47

Just looked at all the packaging in my fridge. The organic cucumbers are british, but the carrots were spanish so they have gone in the bin. The bags of lettuce are French - do you think those are ok?

LinzerTorte Mon 30-May-11 16:13:57

Have just heard on the radio that one in five Austrians is avoiding cucumber, tomatoes and aubergine (I didn't realise that was affected too). I'm just going to make sure I stick to tomatoes and cucumber grown in Austria and hope that's enough.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, SC. grin I sent a cucumber that I'd bought at Lidl into kindergarten for DS's class's "healthy snack" last Wednesday (as well as plenty of other fruit and veg, bread, etc., I hasten to add) - no reports of any children falling ill as yet.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 30-May-11 16:37:29

Cases have been reported now in Sweden, NL, Germany, Poland, Czech and the UK... Russia's going the whole hog and thinking of banning all European vegetable products. But they like a scrap, don't they?

franke Mon 30-May-11 16:43:34

I bought cucumbers in Aldi this morning - they were grown locally (Germany) and were very cheap wink

mousymouse Mon 30-May-11 16:45:00

secondary treatment is possible as well if you come into contact with sick or excrement.
we just returned from northern germany and had a salad-less wedding buffet as the advice is not to eat any uncooked salad, tomatoes or cucumbers at the moment.
the most scary thing I find is that it can take up to 10 days for the infection to show.

mousymouse Mon 30-May-11 16:47:27

I have seen (local) cucumbers on the market for 5p (well euro cent) each.

Stillchuckingit Mon 30-May-11 16:50:06

latest news from EU public health portal


Stillchuckingit Mon 30-May-11 16:50:44

Btw - I was intending to make a ratatouille tomorrow

Are toms, courgettes and aubergines OK if you cook them?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 30-May-11 17:05:18

Cooking probably kills any bugs. Just don't inhale whilst chopping....

LinzerTorte Mon 30-May-11 17:15:17

Yes, if food is cooked thoroughly, that should kill the E. coli - it shoud also be washed before cooking.

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