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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

1,000 Sick, Nine Dead, 300 with HUS Due to E. coli O104 Cucumbers from Spain

cucmbers-lead-420x0.jpgNews reports on the number of sickened and dead, in what is quickly becoming one of the largest E. coli outbreaks that I have seen in nearly two decades of litigating E. coli outbreaks, have varied. As of this morning, the press is reporting that the latest victim was an 84-year-old woman, who died on Saturday in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. This follows the death of an 87-year-old woman in the early hours of Saturday morning in Hamburg. On Thursday night a 38-year-old woman died from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). As many as six other women (a total of nine) have died in the last week.

Other reports have nearly 300 suffering from HUS. In addition, as many as 1,000 have been hospitalized with E. coli according to other press reports. Cases have also been reported in Britain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

German officials have said they found 3 cucumbers from Spain with the bacterium, and they are currently probing whether the cucumbers were contaminated with E. coli when they were shipped from southern Spain, or whether they went bad during shipment or while being handled in Germany.

  • Cucumbers don’t get E.coli all by their itty bitty vegetable selves… It has to do with how our food is being produced within the fields, in processing, and transport. It doesn’t matter what country it’s from, the point is that mass produced, globalized corporate food = E.coli (among other dangers)….
    We need to get beyond the blame game and start demanding local, small, happy (E.coli free) food…

  • ao

    I have read that 4 cucumbers were contaminated in the Hamburg market, 3 originally from spain, but the fourth originally from holland. Is that correct?

  • It is my understanding that the source of the Holland cucumber may well be Spain.

  • Doc Mudd

    Yep. Organically grown cucumbers.
    Grubby growers + old-fashioned dung fertilizer = manure-laden veggies = risky business.
    This outbreak was incredibly severe. Mighty potent organically cultured fecal bacteria, that one.