Spain's Cucumbers Not E. Coli Culprit— So It May Sue Germany

Meanwhile, number of sickest jumps to 470
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2011 6:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Europe's E. coli mess may get a whole lot messier. Spain says it may take legal action against the German authorities "who have questioned the quality of our products." As the export of Spanish produce screeched to a halt, officials there griped that German authorities were quick to finger Spain as the source—before the result of tests were known. And it looks like they griped with good reason: German officials yesterday revealed that while Spain's cucumbers did test positive for E. coli, they did not have any traces of the strain responsible for the outbreak, reports the AP.

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Meanwhile, Germany's national disease control center today said that 470 people are now suffering from the most serious form of E. coli, up from 373 yesterday. After performing hundreds of tests, this is what they know conclusively: "Most of the patients who have been sickened ate cucumbers, tomatoes, and leaf lettuce and primarily in northern Germany." The next step, continued the country's agriculture minister, is to "follow back the delivery path to see how the cucumbers or tomatoes or lettuce got here." (Read more E. coli stories.)

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