May 21, 2019

Deadly E. Coli traced to German bean sprouts

A tunnel house in Uelzen, the possible home of the killer bean sprouts.

A farm south of Hamburg, Germany has been identified as the most likely source of the deadly E. coli outbreak that has killed 22 people.

The farm, produces bean sprouts, and is close to the highest concentration of the more than 2,000 reported E. Coli cases.

German officials were awaiting results of tests on the farm’s produce that will confirm if it is the source. In the meantime German’s have been advised to stop eating bean sprouts.

The agriculture minister for Lower Saxony, Gert Lindemann, said: “Further evidence has emerged which points to a plant nursery in Uelzen as the source of the EHEC cases, or at least one of the sources,” he said.

Definite proof would depend on test results, but “a connection has been found involving all the main outbreaks”.

The farm is about 100km south of Hamburg and supplies restaurants and markets in the city and neighbouring German states.

So it was the German’s on the farm with the bean sprouts and not the Spaniards in the field with the cucumbers that did the damage.

Cases have been concentrated in Hamburg, with infections in 12 other countries linked to travel in Germany.

The Spanish authorities have a right to feel aggrieved at having the finger pointed at them before all the tests were in.

Twenty-one of the victims have died in Germany, and one person in Sweden.

EU health ministers will discuss the outbreak at their meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. Hopefully their luncheon salads have been well washed.