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Cucumbers innocent. Beansprouts in the dock!

(22 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jun-11 12:08:32

German Beansprouts suspected in E-Coli outbreak

I do hope the German authorities are brought to book for this one. After commercially ruining big sections of the produce industry by wrongly pointing the finger at Spanish salads, it turns out that beanshoots are now the chief suspect. Bit late for all those poor farmers going bust.

belgo Mon 06-Jun-11 12:11:04

I very much doubt that bean sprouts are the sole cause of the outbreak - if the answer was that simple, why didn't they work it out a month ago? I suspect that has been contamination in other areas as well. Very scary for the people living in the region.

HarrietJones Mon 06-Jun-11 12:11:58

I am v interested to see what happens regarding the Spanish farmers

Cattleprod Mon 06-Jun-11 12:12:04

Did they actually find out what all the infected people had eaten, drunk etc before accusing the salad producers? I'd have thought beansprouts would be quite a noticeable thing in a German diet - it's not like the outbreak happened in China! Someone must have noticed if that is what people had eaten before getting ill?

LovelyJudy Mon 06-Jun-11 13:35:07

I'm curious for someone to explain the biology of it - the farm owner says this:

"I can't understand how the processes we have here and the accusations could possibly fit together," said Mr Verbeck.

"The salad sprouts are grown only from seeds and water, and they aren't fertilised at all. There aren't any animal fertilisers used in other areas on the farm either."

Anyone got any theories?

whymumwhymum Mon 06-Jun-11 13:55:40

Well because of the way they are growing them, ie in moist body temperature conditions, you would only need an initial contamination and then the e-coli would spread and reproduce of its own accord, I assume.

Contamination might have gotten in via a number of routes, animlas enetering the facility, bad hygiene by workers bringing it in, water contamination. Hope they find out as a lot of people have lost their lives sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jun-11 16:32:53

Beansprouts have been a 'be careful' foodstuff for a long time based on what whymumwhymum says - warm damp conditions and therefore bug heaven. I've seen them commercially grown in the past and, like a lot of prepared salads, they were finished with a quick rinse in the agricultural equivalent of Milton sterilising fluid which successfully dealt with the bugs. The place smelt like a swimming pool! Don't know if the sterilising rinse process still goes on...

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 06-Jun-11 16:33:27

Great title smile

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 06-Jun-11 16:53:28

looks like sprouts might wriggle off free!

Until they know what contaminated whatever food is contaminated the case can't be closed. The real worry is that a new strain of e coli has been born, that is highly virulent, aggressive and with multiple antibiotic resistance.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-Jun-11 16:55:16

It'll probably turn out to be someone in the local coffee shop who isn't washing their hands afetr wiping their bum.

CatIsSleepy Mon 06-Jun-11 16:57:24

hoorah for cucumbers!
(sorry, just felt like saying that)

beansprouts-have never trusted 'em
always end up turning to slime in my fridge

TheCrackFox Mon 06-Jun-11 17:00:18

I'm not convinced by the Beansprout theory, however, I am more convinced by VivaLaBeaver's theory of a member of staff not washing their hands.

pointydog Mon 06-Jun-11 17:16:25

I heard on the news this evening that the beansprouts are also innocent. I think that's what I heard anyway.

MotherMountainGoat Mon 06-Jun-11 17:52:42

I've just been watching the German news. The authorities took 40 samples for testing from the farm and all 23 that have been done so far have now come out negative. That means there's still no confirmation yet that it is beansprouts at all. I hope tomorrow we'll know one way or another. In the meantime, the Robert Koch Institute is still advising people not to eat the original cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

We went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant on Saturday and diligently avoided any fresh tomato-based salad, but my chicken satay came on a base of beansprouts and I innocently ate them all - this was just before the warning came out. This was 145 kilometres from the 'epicentre' farm. So yes, I'm marginally worried at this point that they could have been infected, but I imagine the risk is statistically very low. Luckily, the DC and DH didn't have any beansprouts, so I would be the only one in the family to cop it!

The list of things to avoid is not just beansprouts, but also food like alfalfa, mung beans, adzuki beans, lentils etc here

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-Jun-11 17:52:48

If beansprouts are also innocent, the germans will have sunk another perfectly good business without trace....

MotherMountainGoat Mon 06-Jun-11 18:46:06

Cogito, I'm wondering if this is all some sort of conspiracy by the German meat industry to deflect attention from a few 'dodgy meat' scandals in the past few years wink. It's certainly been very successful in putting people off healthy food at the time of year when it's most popular.

However, I think it's a bit vague to say 'the germans' have sunk a good business - what, all 80 million of them? The majority of 'the germans' are also pretty peeved with the mismanagement of this case by the Koch Institute and the government.

Ripeberry Mon 06-Jun-11 21:49:58

I reckon it escaped from a laboratory angry

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 07-Jun-11 09:46:39

"The germans" as short-form for 'the german authorities', of course.

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 07-Jun-11 10:42:37

Still no closer to finding out what the cause is.
On Saturday I was in the supermarket buying stuff for a BBQ we were having. I've never seen people scrutinising the country of source before. Delhaize had put prominent signs on the Belgian produce and appeared not to be stocking anything from Spain. This of course was before the German link came out.

belgo Tue 07-Jun-11 10:49:06

kreecher I don't think there have been any cases of E coli in Belgium yet?

belgo Tue 07-Jun-11 10:50:20

I perused the vegetable shelves of my local Delhaize today hoping for some cheap salad, but typical Delhaize, still as expensive as ever.

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 07-Jun-11 10:56:40

No cases in Belgium yet. You can have my lettuce if you want, we got so tiddly on Saturday night it stayed on the worktop uncut until I recovered on Monday.

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