E.coli epidemic in Europe may be caused by bean sprouts

The latest test results of the intense investigation into the severe epidemic caused by E.coli bacteria in Germany have implicated bean sprouts from an organic farm in northern Germany as a likely source of the contamination. Other kinds of sprouts, such as radish, alfalfa, and mung bean sprouts, may also be involved. Further testing is required to confirm these preliminary findings.

Meanwhile, the total number of deaths has increased to 22 (21 in Germany and 1 in Sweden) while the total number of infections has reached approximately 2,200, according to health authorities at the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control. The dramatic increase in patients is taxing the capacities of local hospitals and creating difficulties in providing health care.

While confirmation that bean and other kinds of sprouts used in salads and on sandwiches is pending, travellers are being warned to avoid consuming salads or other foods containing sprouts.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Food and Water Contamination.

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