On today's date, June 28, in 1988 the Spanish toxic olive oil trail ended after 15 months of investigation. In what is known as one of the worst records of food poisoning in history, an epidemic broke out in May of 1981. Hundreds of Spaniards fell severely ill with pneumonia like symptoms that doctors were unable to treat correctly. Although the judges concluded that the cause of the sickness was bad olive oil, there is much speculation about the epidemic which is commonly known as the Toxic Oil Syndrome. Doctors and government officials who believed it was not bad olive oil, but something else - like fertilizer contaminated tomatoes - were immediately fired from their positions.
The secrecy surrounding the epidemic, and the fact that the majority of breakouts were located near a US military base in Spain, lead many to think it was a conspiracy. This reminds me of the last year's spinach scare and makes me wonder, are you afraid of food poisoning?