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PICTURES: How Food Contamination Outbreaks Have Affected the U.S. PICTURES: How Food Contamination Outbreaks Have Affected the U.S.

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Health and Welfare

PICTURES: How Food Contamination Outbreaks Have Affected the U.S.


A worker uses a pitchfork to unload cucumbers from a tractor onto a field where they will be shredded at the Ehlers Gartenbau cucumber farm near Hamburg on June 4, 2011 in Stoeckte, Germany. Vegetable farmers in northern Germany are facing a crisis as public reaction to the current enterohemorrhagic E. coli, also known as the EHEC bacteria, outbreak has brought vegetable sales to a near halt. Ehlers Gartenbau owner Uwe Ehlers says during the past week he has had to destroy between 10,000 and 12,000 cucumbers a day, creating a daily loss of approximately EUR 4,000 for his operation. 'We have the best-quality cucumbers in Europe,' says Ehler's wife Petra. 'We thought people will always eat vegetables.' At least 18 people have died from the EHEC outbreak and authorities, who initially suspected raw cucumbers, tomatoes and salad as being the carrier of the bacteria, are still seeking clues as to the cause.(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Four suspected cases of E. Coli infections have been identified in Americans who have recently traveled to Hamburg, Germany, the alleged origin of the latest produce-contamination outbreak. In the following gallery, we survey global food-contamination outbreaks—namely of E. coli and salmonella—over the past five years and reveal how they affected Americans.

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