The E. coli bacterium is not only taking a human toll. It has also infected international trade.
Relations between the EU and Russia were laid low when Moscow banned imports of all European fresh vegetables.
The EU has accused Russia of breaking World Trade Organisation rules – an organisation Russia is pressing hard to join.
In Moscow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said: “All euro zone countries have already been fighting among themselves because of these cucumbers. Representatives from the European Commission are now saying that Russia’s decision contradicts the spirit of the WTO. I speak frankly when I say I don’t know what spirit this contradicts, but after people eat these cucumbers, they die. These cucumbers really do smell nasty.”
It is no surprise temperatures are rising. EU vegetable exports to Russia last year brought in nearly 600 million euros. Now many Russian shops are clearing their shelves of European produce.
Spain’s producers are feeling the pinch after being wrongly accused by Germany at first of being the source of the outbreak.
French salad growers have joined their Spanish counterparts in calling for the European Commission to compensate them for their losses.