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E. Coli fear-factor decreasing significantly here in Germany.

20/06/2011

As of Friday, the Associated Press reported a total of 3,408 infections from the current E. Coli outbreak here in Germany.  Sadly 39 deaths have been reported and 798 persons are reported to have developed a serious life threatening condition which can lead to kidney failure as a result of exposure to this strain of E. Coli.

As sobering as those figures are (the numbers can be obtained from about any news site), I’d like to report today that I’m personally seeing a decrease in the fear levels here in Berlin after the German authorities announcement late last week they have found the “culprit”.

For the last several weeks, the produce shelves in local markets (like the small Edeka market near my house), have been a sad sight.  The few produce items which were there (especially the cucumbers and tomatoes) have been anything but fresh.  Mostly the shelves were bare.

As you no doubt have already read, German authorities are now highly confident the original source of the E. Coli outbreak was a sprout farm about 35 miles southeast of Hamburg, Germany.  Germany has now lifted its warning about consuming uncooked lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Human nature dictates we crave those things denied to us.  As such, I’ve been dying for some fresh summer cucumbers (“Gurkens” here) and fresh tomatoes on a summer salad.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the Edeka shelves restocked with beautiful fresh produce this morning.

Naturally I will observe the safety precautions (proper washing and general kitchen cleanliness), but I’m doing my best Pavlov’s Dog impression contemplating my fresh vegetable salad tonight.

My heart goes out to those who died and became horrible sick, as well as to the many farmers and merchants who really took a financial hit over all of this.  Like so many things in life, the best way most of us can help out is to get past the fear and move on.

(Tip:  Clicking a photo will bring up a larger version.  Clicking that version will bring up maximum size.)

Edeka (and other grocery retailers) shelves are now restocked with beautiful fresh produce.  Photo taken at 9:00 a.m. 20 June, 2011 in Berlin, Germany.

Guten Appetit… and Good Health!!!

RJ

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