Real sportsmen don’t eat bean sprouts

I was telling a friend about a story I wrote recently, reporting
on the E. Coli outbreak in Germany, how it was caused by eating
bean sprouts, why it should be a warning to Americans, and how I’m
sort of paranoid these days about eating anything that grows close
to the ground.

Because he knows that I am both a science writer and an outdoor
writer, my friend suggested we run the story in Pennsylvania
Outdoor News.

“No, it’s not an ‘outdoor’ story, so we wouldn’t use it,” I told

“Why? Hunters and fishermen eat, too,” he said.

“Well, you’re right about that, but they don’t seem to have much of
an appetite for food-safety stories.”

Ignoring my play on words — which I thought was pretty clever —
he wound up our conversation: “Ah you’re right, real men don’t eat
bean sprouts,” he said. “Hunter’s certainly don’t!”

That set me to thinking. A lot of us think we don’t eat sprouts,
but apparently we do if we eat salads. The reason it took German
officials so long to find the origin of the outbreak of foodborne
illness was that only 28 percent of the more than 3,300 people
sickened by the bacteria reported they had eaten sprouts.

At least 39 people died from the novel strain of especially deadly
bacteria, making it the most deadly E. coli outbreak ever.

Sprouts must make their way into salads, whether we put them there
or not. So perhaps hunters really do eat sprouts.

Could it happen in this country? Probably. Read more here.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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