109 sick from E. coli in leafy greens UK: Best advice bureautypes have is wash your hands

This just gets continuinglyly hopeless. More sick people – that’s good to disclose, know it’s uncomfortable for Brits and most Europeans – but telling consumers to wash their hands is stupid.

lettuce.skull.e.coli.O145Why wouldn’t Public Health England (PHE) or the farm groups involved say, this is what we do to reduce risk, and talk about on-farm food safety efforts?

Instead, they tell consumers to wash their hands.

To date, 109 cases (figure correct as at 4 July 2016) of this strain of E. coli have been identified (102 in England, 6 in Wales and 1 in Scotland) with the South West of England particularly affected.

PHE has been working to establish the cause of the outbreak and has now identified that several of the affected individuals ate mixed salad leaves including rocket leaves prior to becoming unwell. Currently, the source of the outbreak is not confirmed and remains under investigation. PHE is now reminding people to maintain good hygiene and food preparation practices in response to the current outbreak.

Dr Isabel Oliver, director of PHE’s field epidemiology service, said, We continue to stress the importance of good hand and food hygiene practices at all times. We urge people to remove any loose soil before storing vegetables and thoroughly wash all vegetables (including salads) that will be eaten raw unless they have been pre-prepared and are specifically labelled ‘ready to eat’. These measures may reduce the risk of infection from any E.coli contaminated vegetables, fruit and salad but will not eliminate any risk of infection completely.