Food 13 Dec 2006 11:29 pm
The health Sherlocks think they finally found the source of the E. coli that got 71 people sick in the Northeast. It wasn’t the cheddar cheese or the ground beef. It was the lettuce:
“That I would say is the most likely vehicle. I would warn we are not done with the investigation,” Dr. Christopher Braden, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters.
The lettuce hasn’t been tested. It’s a statistical inference. Scientists came to their conclusion via spreadsheet. The AP’s Andrew Bridges writes, “it was the item that victims most commonly reported eating.”
Health officials in Iowa and Minnesota also think bad lettuce is the source of an E. coli outbreak at Taco John’s. With 200 people getting sick this fall from tainted spinach McDonald’s must be glad they didn’t re-launch the McDLT.
Seriously, the bad news from the past few months could really hurt vegetable farmers. That’s why Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) said in a statement, “This outbreak highlights the need for additional research into E. coli and fresh produce so that the industry, food processors, retailers and consumers can make the best food safety decisions possible.” There will be plenty of hearings on this subject.
At least in New South Wales, Australia their leafy veggies are ok. You can eat like a rabbit to your heart’s content.