Monday 30 May 2011

If you are a salad eater in Germany or Spain, beware of the perverse ways by which this 'healthy' food might put you at greater risk when compared to those who consume oily junk.

A salad of locust and mealworm. Marcel Dicke, a food scientist and heal of entomology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, argues that bugs provide a healthier, more economic and green source of protein.

As the e-coli outbreak spreads through organic cucumbers imported from Spain, statistics shows that women are the worst affected. Scientists attribute the healthier eating habits of women as a reason for this unusual trend. Diseases spread through raw food and undercooked food are more likely to affect women, since they tend to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Under normal circumstances a bowl of salad or raita would be the best thing to eat, but if you happen to be in the e-coli prone area, keep away from raw stuff until the epidemic is contained, advise doctors and scientists. Health officials in the affected areas of Europe have requested the public to refrain from consuming cucumber, tomato and lettuce until the origin and carrier of the malicious e-coli is detected.

In disease affected Hamburg, restaurants have removed cucumber from their salads and other raw dishes while cooked version retained its place in the menu. Restaurants have been notified by authorities to put up warning signs against the consumption of cucumber even though the orders remained to be executed in most of the eating joints. The German public remains ambiguous about the dangers of e-coli even as government officials continued to warn about the risk form the spreading bacteria.

The outbreak has been identified as hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), caused by a malicious and contagious strain of e-coli known as Shiga toxin-producing e-coli (STEC). The epidemic is one of the largest outbreaks of HUS in the history of Europe and the largest ever reported in Germany.

Despite the e-coli attack cucumbers continue to be sold in Spain. In countries like France, Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria officials have ordered to withdraw cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines from shelves, which are delivered from Germany and grown in Spain.

The overwhelming number of e-coli affected patients reportedly caught some of the clinics in Germany off guard. Doctors and hospital officials are working round the clock to reassure people scared by real disease or imaginary symptoms.