German bean sprouts blamed for E. coli outbreak

Bean sprouts grown on a farm in Germany’s Lower Saxony could be the source a deadly E. coli outbreak that has killed 22 people, the DPA news agency reported on Monday.

Lower Saxony Agriculture Minister Gert Lindemann said on Sunday there was a “very clear trail” leading to a small farm near Uelzen in Lower Saxony that supplied various types of sprouts to restaurants and retailers.

The area is some 70 km (40 miles) south of Hamburg, Germany’s second city and the center of the outbreak that began three weeks ago.

German Health Minister Daniel Bahr said the evidence was not conclusive.

Andreas Hensel, president of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), said the latest clues regarding the Uelzen farm were “just one more piece of the puzzle.”

Over 2,200 people have been infected with the enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) outbreak and several hundred have developed hemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a severe illness that can lead to kidney disease, coma and death.

Russia suspended fruit and vegetable imports from the European Union on Thursday, a move that sparked criticism from EU officials for going against the policies of the World Trade Organization.

Russia also accused Brussels of failing to provide sufficient information about the source of the infection.


MOSCOW, June 6 (RIA Novosti)

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