A Scottish study suggests slugs have the potential to transmit E. coli to vegetables.
Farm animals have been previously identified as major reservoirs of E. coli by passing it through manure that is then used to fertilize crops. Slugs are widespread agricultural pests that continuously ingest bacteria from the soil and their environment.
Laboratory testing indicates the slug species Derrieres reticulate can maintain viable E. coli on its external surface for 14 days and slugs that were fed E. coli shed viable bacteria in their feces for up to 3 weeks.