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Bug outbreak blamed on bean sprouts

Locally-grown bean sprouts are the cause of the European E.coli outbreak that has killed 29 people, German experts say.

"It is the sprouts," said Reinhard Burger, the head of Germany's national disease control centre.

He said even though no tests of the sprouts from a farm in Lower Saxony had come back positive, the epidemiological investigation of the pattern of the outbreak had produced enough evidence to draw the conclusion.

He said the Robert Koch Institute was lifting its warning against eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce but keeping the warning in place for the sprouts.

Around 3,000 people have been taken ill, some with serious complications, in the outbreak.

Meanwhile Dutch authorities have recalled red beet sprouts after samples were found to be contaminated with a strain of E.coli apparently less dangerous than the German one.

The Dutch Food Safety Authority said laboratories are still trying to identify the Dutch strain of E.coli, but said there have been no immediate reports of serious illness.


From Belfast Telegraph