Sounds like one of those dodgy old sci-fi movies doesn't it?
I can picture it now, squads of eight foot tall cucumbers walking menacingly down the middle of the road, crushing everything in their wake...
Since early last week the usually healthy (if you ignore their love of cake, bread, ice cream, cigarettes and sunbeds) Germans have become, one and all, salad dodgers.
There's a virulent strain of E. coli doing the rounds and the blame was at first being laid firmly at the Spanish cucumber farmers door - they deny it has anything to do with them naturall and now the authorities have had to admit that it might not be the farmers fault, they have also said that they're not sure where the problem lies. But the public has to be protected and so first of all we were told to wash all vegetables especially cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines (well, duuuhh) then we were told to avoid eating cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and aubergines and all this only a few months after we had the scare about eating eggs/chicken.
Whilst it's something that needs to be taken seriously (I detest cucumbers and will happily not buy them) - people have died and still more are seriously ill in hospital, the problem shouldn't be blown out of proportion, afterall, as one of the headlines pointed out earlier this week '13 people may be dead due to E. coli but 80 million (in Germany) are still alive', and what about the 30,000 people who die in German hospitals each year from MRSA?
Meanwhile, at a party we went to last Saturday the hosts had spent the previous day trying to rework their buffet menu as it had previously included lots of salad options which clearly would be avoided by all safety conscious guests. And another friend off to a fathers day bbq tomorrow* has been requested to bring the couscous she makes so well (but to leave out the cucumber) and could she also bring along a couple of salads because she's known to make creative salads and therefore they seem to think she'll be able to rustle something salady up that doesn't include cucumbers, tomatoes or lettuce...in other words they want salad with no salad stuff in it...hmmmm. Apparently she suggested a brocolli and feta salad (it's delicious, trust me, I introduced her to it) but that was turned down because the children wont eat the brocolli...like any self respecting child is going to touch something remotely healthy when there is a bbq and piles of sausages and buns to attack? Dream on!
* father's day in Germany is ALWAYS on the day of Christihimmelfahrt (Ascension day - I think)