Europe is battling a selection of imported Spanish vegetables that are infected with potentially fatal bacteria and has caused the death of 14 people. Several countries have banned the diseased Spanish fruits and vegetables, which has led to arguments between diplomats. While officials haven’t determined the source of the outbreak, imported Spanish cucumbers were found containing traces of the bacterium.
With the help of biologists and a Spanish translator London officials were able to trace the vegetable back to the Spanish cities of Almeira and Malaga. The organically grown cucumbers which originated in southern Spain have been identified as being the source of one of the largest outbreaks of E. coli that Europe has ever seen. The Spanish authorities are refuting claims that their vegetables are to blame, especially considering the list of other countries that also export their produce.
The bacterium is the rare strain 0104 which is seen very rarely in the UK and appears to be predominantly affecting adult women. It is not just Spanish vegetables and dishes that people need to be wary of; travellers to Germany are advised to avoid raw tomatoes, lettuces and cucumber; as well as cucumbers from the Netherlands as these are also under suspicion of containing the bacterium.
The Food Standards Agency has declared that none of the affected produce has entered and been distributed in the UK, which they have told the Spanish authorities about with the help of a translation agency London. Meanwhile, authorities recommend anyone with bloody diarrhoea to get to a healthcare facility to be tested for the bacteria. While there have been no cases of secondary infection in the UK, this has been seen in some of the travellers returning from elsewhere in Europe where they may have eaten dishes made with infected Spanish vegetables.
If you think you may be infected with the E. coli bacterium as a result of consuming Spanish vegetables visit your doctor immediately to be tested.