84 sick with E. coli O157: Leafy greens cone of silence – English-style

As if the English weren’t taunted enough, an outbreak of E. coli O157 phage type (PT) 34 linked with leafy salad has prompted regulators to remind consumers “about the importance of good hygiene and food preparation practice” and wash their f*cking hands (that pic, right, is what accompanied s300_Handwashing__NHS_MOORFIELDS_308-10056_960x640the PR; I can’t make this shit up).

This has nothing to do with E. coli O157 on leafy greens, and is a further continuation of Scotland’s it’s-a-f*cking pink chicken educational campaign.

Public Health England says it is investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157 which may be associated with eating leafy salad. To date 84 cases (figure correct as at 1 July 2016) of this strain of E. coli have been identified (77 in England, 5 in Wales, 1 in the Channel Islands and 1 in Scotland) with the majority of cases confirmed in the South West of England.

Dr. Isabel Oliver, director of PHE’s field epidemiology service, said: PHE has put in place heightened surveillance for this strain of E. coli and is and carefully monitoring the reporting of cases across the entire country. To assist with this investigation, we have convened a national outbreak control team to identify the source of infection and to ensure all necessary control measures are put in place.

lettuce.skull.e.coli.O145And collaborate with the U.K. Food Standards Agency, whose idea of science-based verification is to cook meat until it is piping hot, and declared in 2011 that E. coli O157:H7 found on or in leeks or potatoes, was the consumers’ responsibility.

Almost two months after revealing 250 people were sickened and one died with E. coli O157:H7 phage-type 8 over the previous eight months in 2011, linked to people handling loose raw leeks and potatoes in their homes, FSA decided to launch a campaign reminding people to wash raw vegetables to help minimize the risk of food poisoning.

No information on how those 250 became sick and no information on farming and packing practices that may have led to such a massive contamination that so many people got sick, no information on anything: just advice to wash things thoroughly so that contamination can be spread throughout the kitchen.

This outbreak once again combines two of the central themes of conflict and public trust in all things food, which the English are seemingly terrible at: when to go public, and blaming consumers.

And now, John Oliver, again (NSFV).

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time