E Coli Outbreak Linked to Salad Leaves Leads to Two UK Deaths

By Gerald Lynch on at

The mini-heatwave the UK is currently experiencing makes it perfect weather for an easy (read – lazy) salad-based lunch or dinner. But don't let that heatwave drowsiness make you skip the important step of washing those leaves first – an E coli outbreak in the UK is being linked to unwashed mixed leaf salads by health watchdogs.

So far 151 people have been infected by E coli poisoning during the outbreak, with 62 hospitalised and two killed by the illness. Public Health England has stated that several infected had eaten mixed salad, including rocket, before symptoms arose.

The E coli strain in question, E coli 0157, is thought to have come from leaves imported from the mediterranean.

E coli is a relatively rare food poisoning disease these days, with the offending bacteria found mainly in cattle, whose waste can contaminate food and water. If you're in doubt about how safe to eat your salad leaves are, make sure to wash both any leaves thoroughly, and then your hands, before serving, unless the salad pack has been labelled "ready to eat." [Gov.UK]