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EHEC – Organic cucumbers were not the cause

by Redaktion (comments: 0)


The German organic food association BOEWL (Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft) has published the most important facts regarding EHEC from the perspective of organic food production, based on current knowledge. It reveals that organic cucumbers were not the cause for the EHEC outbreak in Germany this month. Only since 31 May 2011 a specific test has been available which detects the current EHEC strain clearly and easily. With the help of this test it was found that the Eschericia coli pathogen on the organic cucumbers from Spain does not belong to the O104 strain which has caused this outbreak.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an enterohemorrhagic strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli and a cause of foodborne illness. Infection often leads to hemorrhagic diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure, especially in young children and elderly persons. Transmission is via the fecal-oral route, and most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef, swimming in or drinking contaminated water, and eating contaminated vegetables. The 2011 hemolytic-uremic syndrome outbreak is caused by the enterohemorrhagic E. coli Escherichia coli O104:H4, according to Wikipedia. As of 30 May 2011, more than 1,300 people were infected or suspected to be infected in Germany, and 14 people died.

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