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Check your cucumbers: Swedish food agency

TT/The Local/rm · 27 May 2011, 14:22

Published: 27 May 2011 14:22 GMT+02:00

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“It is very important that companies that handle vegetables, especially cucumbers, track their produce and look into their origins. Companies are responsible for the produce that they sell,” Alexander Sobestiansky of the National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) told news agency TT.

After an outbreak of a virulent enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria in northern Germany, the German authorities have been able to trace the infection to two lots of contaminated cucumbers from southern Spain.

So far, there are no indications from Germany that any of the contaminated cucumbers have found their way to Sweden. But the administration still thinks it is important that grocers be vigilant with their vegetables.

“They could have got here through other channels,” Sobestiansky told TT.

If grocers find that any of their cucumbers have originated among the two contaminated lots they should immediately recall them and contact the local authorities, according to Sobestiansky.

The Board also urges any Swede travelling in northern Germany to stay away from uncooked cucumber, tomato and lettuce.

“If you have been in northern Germany recently and experience any symptoms you should contact your health care provider. It is important to mention that you have been to Germany and that there has been an outbreak of EHEC,” Sobestiansky said.

There are still a large number of EHEC cases in Sweden, with 15 new cases reported on Friday.

According to Sofie Ivarsson, epidemiologist at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet), more cases are being reported and the number of Swedish sufferers keeps changing.

“The infection is now spread all over the country. But no one has actually caught the infection in Sweden,“ Ivarsson said to TT.

The number of German sufferers of the E. coli complication HUS, haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) has increased to 276, of which two have been fatal.

Story continues below…

According to Ivarsson, German authorities haven't confirmed to them the amount of suspected EHEC-cases reported.

“Normally 5-15 percent of patients infected with EHEC develop HUS, but in Germany the number seems very high,“ Ivarsson told TT.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:07 May 27, 2011 by Swedesmith
I'll go check mine right now.
17:34 May 27, 2011 by 33alex
Just throw it. Germans cucumber are bad.
18:44 May 27, 2011 by just a question
just peel them before eating for god's sake and wash the salat with some drops of bleach. More common sense and more hygiene!
19:06 May 27, 2011 by Tanskalainen
We all know what las mujeres de Espana do with cucumbers.
19:41 May 27, 2011 by just a question
in this case are Spanish cucumbers imported to Germany, so maybe Germans are the one doing strange things with cucumbers.
20:37 May 27, 2011 by kasimov
Does anyone know how to check whether cucumbers are infected or not? I bought 2 for 10 SEK in ICA two days ago ))
20:39 May 27, 2011 by theibmsstate2000
Post-diarrheal hemolytic uremic syndrome (D+HUS) is a severe, life-threatening complication that occurs in about 10 percent of those infected with E. coli O157:H7 or other Shiga toxin- (Stx-) producing E. coli. D+HUS was first described in 1955, but was not known to be secondary to E. coli infections until 1982. It is now recognized as the most common cause of acute kidney failure in infants and young children. Adolescents and adults are also susceptible, as are the elderly, who often succumb to the disease.

How did these otherwise harmless E. coli become such killers? It seems likely that DNA from a Shiga toxin-producing bacterium known as Shigella dysenteria type 1 was transferred by a bacteriophage (a virus that infects bacteria) to harmless E. coli bacteria, thereby providing them with the genes to produce one of the most potent toxins known to man. So potent, that the Department of Homeland Security lists it as a potential bioterrorist agent. Although E. coli O157:H7 are responsible for the majority of cases in America, there are many additional Stx-producing E. coli strains that can cause D+ HUS.
23:17 May 27, 2011 by riose
@kasimov Give one to your worst enemy.
23:29 May 27, 2011 by johnny1939
What a dangerous life we all lead.....now even the poor cucumbers are out to get us...terrorists!!!
01:41 May 28, 2011 by wenddiver
Great I'm going to beat my Girl Friend home and throw away all the pukey vegetables away. Then I'm going to tell her for our safety we are going to live on Steaks and Sea Food, maybe from here on in. Also just to be safe her Mother better not come and vist, until the we can be sure she has not touched Vegetables.

If we get bored with Beef and Sea Food, we will just have to invite my Buddies over from my Fight Club to watch MMA and eat chicken wings.

First we killed Osama Bin Laden and now this! It's going to be a good year!
05:15 May 28, 2011 by foordranata
I used to deliver those things, among other stuff. I once slung this 400kg pallet of potatoes to a grocery. I heard someone took a dump upstairs, flushing the toilet.

On the second day I noticed that the sewage directly above the yestarday´s pallet leaked. So human crap on those beautiful rosamunda, if you please...

But i still think this one´s a Monsanto scam.
12:52 May 28, 2011 by miss79
many ways to kill humans these days..remember humans are like white mice now!
16:39 May 28, 2011 by Borilla
Based on the comments to other articles in this issue, it is clear that the e coli outbreak is the result of a plot by radical feminists.
05:25 May 30, 2011 by Da Goat
easy fix just wash them before use or before the other use too!

I don't much relish the thought of cooked lettuce or cucumber but ok with cooked tomatos even if i do prefer them au naturel

probably better if they were not shrink wrapped to protect the wogs within!
13:46 May 31, 2011 by Yocoair
Wash salad with bleach??? disgusting...use bicarbonate of soda instead, it wont spoil your food by leaving a bad taste...
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