Germany on E. Coli Source: It Was the Bean Sprouts

Other veggies off the hook
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2011 6:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – On Sunday Germany’s E. coli outbreak—which has now killed 29 people—was blamed on bean sprouts; on Monday it wasn’t. Now, apparently, the sprouts are once again being fingered as the culprit. “People who ate sprouts were nine times more likely to have bloody diarrhea than those who did not,” says Germany’s head of disease control. “The links are ever clearer.” On the other hand, “thousands of tests carried out on tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce have proved negative.”

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The pattern of the outbreak still points to a small farm in Lower Saxony, despite the fact that none of its bean sprouts tested positive for E. coli, the official notes, adding that the tainted sprouts could have all been eaten or disposed of. But "new cases" still remain likely, he says. The government is now ending the ban on tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce, the BBC reports. In more good news for struggling European farmers, Russia has dropped its ban on EU veggies. (Read more European Union stories.)

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