PARENTS have been urged to wash vegetables in the wake of the deadly E. coli outbreak.
Twenty-two people have died of food poisoning, which is believed to be linked to a bean sprout farm near Hamburg.
Yesterday a Huddersfield councillor urged parents to ensure vegetables are washed before giving them to their children.
Kirklees Council Cabinet member for young people Clr Ken Smith admitted the outbreak had made him realise his late wife Clr Annie Smith had been right about food hygiene.
The Ashbrow Labour man said: “The issue of cleanliness and washing has been brought to the fore by the E. coli outbreak.
“Annie always washed vegetables, which I never saw the justification for.
“I never washed tomatoes, I just ate them, but I would wash them now because of this outbreak.
“The lessons which I ignored before, I’m now taking very seriously.”
But Clr Smith added he wasn’t convinced that washing food with anti-bacteria liquid was better than using water.
He said: “I’ve seen one expert opinion that anti-bacterial washing is very good but the problem is that you’re also destroying the good bacteria.”
Clr Smith was speaking at the start of National Food Safety Week.
Kirklees environmental health officers visited Lowerhouses Children’s Centre yesterday afternoon to give advice to parents on the best way to avoid E. coli and salmonella.
The food safety staff will visit Almondbury Children’s Centre on Farfield Road from 1pm to 3pm today.
Meanwhile, allotment holders were urged last night not to eat their vegetables.
Calderdale Council is investigating food safety at Milner Royd allotment in Sowerby Bridge after tests found the vegetables contained high doses of arsenic, lead and hydrocarbons.
The land, which is close to a former landfill site, is owned by the council.
Clr David Hardy, who chairs Calderdale’s Scrutiny Panel, said: “It is important to find out the source of the contamination and what can be done to stop it.
“We also need to discuss how we can prevent this happening again and how we will monitor sites like this across the borough.
“People are concerned about this issue and it right that we look at ways to ensure that we prevent this sort of thing happening in the future.”
Twenty-two people have died in the E. coli outbreak in the last three weeks.
German officials originally blamed Spanish cucumbers for the deadly outbreak.
But they now believe bean sprouts grown at a farm in Uelzen, south of Hamburg may be responsible.