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German bean sprouts likely cause of E. coli


June 6, 2011
By The Canadian Press

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beansproutsJune
6, 2011, Hamburg, Germany – German agricultural authorities identified locally
grown bean sprouts as the likely cause of an E. coli outbreak that has killed
22 people and sickened more than 2,200 others in Europe.

June
6, 2011, Hamburg, Germany – German agricultural authorities identified locally
grown bean sprouts as the likely cause of an E. coli outbreak that has killed
22 people and sickened more than 2,200 others in Europe.

The
Lower Saxony agriculture ministry sent an alert warning people to stop eating
the sprouts, which are often used in mixed salads, said ministry spokesman Gert
Hahne.

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beansprouts 
  

“Bean
sprouts have been identified as the product that likely caused the outbreak,”
Hahne said. “Many restaurants that suffered from an E. coli outbreak had those
sprouts delivered.”

Hahne
said the sprouts were grown on a farm in Lower Saxony in northern Germany.

Hahne
said while official test results have not yet conclusively shown that the Lower
Saxony-grown sprouts were to blame, “all indications speak to them being” the
cause.

He
also said authorities would still keep their warning against eating tomatoes,
cucumbers or lettuce in place for now.

The
crisis is the deadliest E. coli outbreak in modern history.

The
head of Germany’s national disease control centre raised the death toll to 22
Sunday – 21 people in Germany and one in Sweden – and said another 2,153 people
in Germany have been sickened. That figure includes 627 people who have
developed a rare, serious complication that can cause kidney failure.

The
World Health Organization said 10 other European nations and the U.S. have
reported a total of 90 other victims.

Fear
of the aggressive E.coli outbreak also spread to countries outside Europe.

The
Gulf nation of Qatar on Sunday temporarily banned imports of fresh cucumbers,
tomatoes and lettuce from Spain and Germany and insisted all other fresh fruit
and vegetables from Europe carry a health certificate declaring they were free
of E. coli.

Lebanon
banned all vegetables from the 27-nation European Union while the United Arab
Emirates banned cucumber imports from Spain, Germany, Denmark and the
Netherlands.

Russia
on Thursday also banned vegetables from the entire EU to keep the outbreak from
spreading east, a move the EU called disproportionate and Italian farmers
denounced as “absurd.” No E. coli infections have been reported in Russia.


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