"The deadly outbreak of E. coli in Germany that has taken 22 lives and sickened some 2,200 is a reminder both of how vulnerable we can be to food-borne illness and how important it is to have a strong food safety system.
American health officials report that so far there is no evidence that the rare strain of E. coli found in Germany has entered the United States food system. E. coli can be found in human and animal feces, and it spreads to vegetables via animal waste in fields and irrigation water, or from farm workers' poor hand-washing. German health authorities have recommended against eating raw lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts — particularly in the northern states of Germany: Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. The lack of an outbreak in America is somewhat reassuring. It would be even more so if we had a good federal program for detecting E. coli in produce..."