Monday, June 6, 2011

Preventing An Escherichia coli Pandemic

Health experts around the globe are keeping a close eye on the deadly outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104, or STEC O104, infections which are centered in Germany.

The outbreak, which began in early May, is among the deadliest in modern history to involve E. coli, and has killed at least 22 people, sickened more than 2,000 across Europe and is now suspected in four cases here in the United States.

The exact source of this outbreak is still not known, but scientists said the suspicions about raw cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, bean sprouts, or other vegetables being a possible source are well-founded since cattle manure used in fertilizer can harbor E. coli.

So, while David Elder, director of regional operations for the Food and Drug Administration, said produce in the United States "remains safe, and there is no reason for Americans to alter where they shop, what they buy, and where they eat. The U.S. food supply is not in jeopardy.", I say that we hope for the best, but expect for the worst.

The best way we can treat this problem is through awareness and prevention. We won't have to worry about treating an pandemic infection if we can easily prevent one.

Practice Safe Sex
We need to assume that this deadly E. coli outbreak could easily spread throughout the world if people aren't aware of it, and try to discover new ways in which to inform the public and help prevent the spread.

As such, I'm asking the promiscuous young ladies in America to vigorously wash their vegetables with soap and water before use. Who knows where they've been beforehand?

Food-borne infections are dangerous enough. The last thing we need in this country is another deadly sexually-transmitted disease pandemic.

Image source: Standing at the Crossroads


  1. Just a reminder, let's be safe out there. Always wash your fruits and vegetables.

    A total of 73 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul linked to cucumbers have been reported from 18 states. Nationwide 14 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

    Source: FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul linked to cucumbers supplied by Daniel Cardenas Izabal and Miracle Greenhouse

  2. And please, always remember to wash your melons too.

    Two Colorado brothers who grew listeria-contaminated cantaloupe linked to a 2011 outbreak that killed 33 people nationwide and sickened hundreds more were criminally charged Thursday by federal authorities.

    Read more at - The Denver Post: Colorado cantaloupe farm charged by federal officials in fatal Listeria outbreak

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