Mystery E. Coli Outbreak in Germany Stumps Scientists

By on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

As reported in today’s New York Times, an aggressive strain of E. coli that has infected more than 1,500 people and killed 17 in Germany has the EU on high-alert. According to the story, the new bacteria strain is extremely toxic, especially to the kidneys, and so far appears resistent to myriad antibiotics. It’s wreaking havoc on the EU agricultural economy, too: “Major growers in Germany are losing up to $7 million daily, and two-thirds of all vegetables, including lettuce and tomatoes, produced by members of the German Federal Association of Producers of Fruit and Vegetables are being destroyed, according to Karl Schmitz, director of the association. In Spain, the damage is much broader, with the loss estimated at about $286 million a week.”

Written by Amy Zavatto

Amy Zavatto, Toque's East Coast editor, is a food, wine, spirits and travel writer for books and magazines.

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