Reuters a few days ago reported that German authorities had linked the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak that has killed 35, sickened over 3,255 – 812 with acute kidney failure – some with brain complications – to contaminated bean sprouts grown on a local organic farm.
At least one German official sees that the sprouter is blameless for the illnesses and deaths:
“Everything we have looked into until now shows the farm was flawless,” said Gert Hahne, spokesman for the consumer protection office of Lower Saxony state. “It is hygienic and followed all the regulations.
“No matter how you look at it we don’t see any fault with the farm or legal ground to hold them accountable,” he said by telephone. “You cannot punish someone for having bad luck.”
Bad luck? 35 dead and likely to rise! 812 with acute kidney failure – at least 100 will require kidney transplants! Many of the others ill will suffer with brain damage, kidney dysfunction, diabetes, bowel and heart disease for the remainder of their lives! Bad luck for the sprouter?
Fact – assuming (and given the fingering of cucumbers earlier) that the cause of the outbreak were the sprouts, three things happened to allow a fecal bacteria – E. coli O104:H4 – into 3,255 salads:
1. Sprouter used seeds that were contaminated prior to sprouting;
2. Sprouter use contaminated water, and/or;
3. Sprouter had contaminated workers.
“Bad luck“, really? “Flawless?” “hygienic and followed all the regulations?” I call bullshit (a.k.a. E. coli).
Here is a handy, dandy Sprout Outbreak Chart – Thanks to Bites and @barfblog