German cooking leaves more than 200 soldiers sick in Afghanistan

Posted on September 28, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Source: German Local News

Nearly 140 Germans were among the 206 members of the International Security Assistance Force soldiers who had problems after eating there, according to the Bundeswehr.

The apparent food poisoning took place on Wednesday and is currently being investigated, a spokesman said. It is not clear what exact symptoms those affected suffered from, but they subsided rapidly, a spokesman said.

The canteen’s kitchen was closed and disinfected as soon as the outbreak of sickness was traced back to it. It was then put back into service, and no new cases have been discovered since Wednesday evening, according to the spokesman, who said “the readiness of the troops is not at risk.”

The Bundeswehr has been accused in a series of news and government report of not adequately preparing soldiers for the Afghanistan mission, but no one has previously questioned its food preparation standards.

Yet German soldiers have previously been hit by food-bourne illnesses.

Between December 2008 and February 2009, 104 soldiers fell ill with the norovirus at one military installation in Germany. The authorities were eventually able to identify salad as the source.

Other military forces, including those of the US and Australia, have also recently suffered from food-borne illness outbreaks.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.

Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.

The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.


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