Should travelers coming to Spain worry about the recent E.Coli outbreak?

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Our guide Marta in Barcelona offers explanations and reassurance about the recent news surrounding an e.coli outbreak in Spain. Thank you for the timely update, Marta!


My answer is there is no need to worry. In Spain everyone feels safe eating as usual. Here is how the situation is going:

Evidence has been found that healthy and safe cucumbers traveled from the South of Spain to Germany. During the trip, and already in German lands, one of the boxes got broken and the vegetables must have touched the ground at some point and got infected. The contents of the box should have been destroyed as is stipulated, but for some reason it wasn't and the produce got into the market chain, infecting people as a result.

So far, all the people intoxicated are German or had been in Germany recently. Only one Spanish man has been affected... and he had been in Germany as well.

Spanish farmers are understandably very angry at the German authorities who immediately blamed the Spanish cucumbers without checking first where the infection had started. And everyone in Spain keeps eating as usual, with no panic and no fear. Even the European-Level alert set at the beginning of the emergency has already been removed.

However, it's understandable that you don't want to incur in any risk: you are on vacation! So if you wish to feel totally safe when you are in Spain here are some tips for you:

First of all, avoid ordering Gazpacho (a vegetable soup that usually contains cucumber) and any salad with cucumber on it. Not many other Spanish dishes are likely to include cucumber as an ingredient.

Next, cucumber is a vegetable that is only eaten raw, as far as I know. Washing them thoroughly should be enough to get rid of any bacteria or virus in its skin. Peeling them is another way to add extra safety. I trust the local restaurants to be strict with these rules. But if you still need more precautions, just stick to cooked vegetables in general: fried, steamed, grilled... Heat also destroys bacteria.

No infection has been found in other vegetables, so eating everything else but cucumber could also make you feel more reassured.

These are just a few recommendations that make sense to me, and that you might want to follow if the cucumber news is making you nervous about an upcoming trip. After all, vacations are about relaxing, right?

But I can tell you that I totally trust the local produce and the cleanliness of our restaurants and caf├ęs. I'm not changing at all my eating habits because of the E. Coli news. And that's how everyone is feeling around here as well.

I hope to have been of help!
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