E. Coli not found in testing of sprouts

German E. Coli contamination remains unknown

(RxWiki News) Just a day after pinpointing a sprout farm as the likely cause of an E coli outbreak, German agriculture authorities have revealed that 23 of the 40 produce samples tested did not contain the toxic contamination.

German authorities announced at a press conference on Sunday that a plant nursery in Uelzen, south of Hamberg, likely was the source of the outbreak from the rare strain of E. coli. The farm was shuttered and all of its produce recalled.

"Tests showed the cucumbers and sprouts are not to blame."

The test results only add to the confusion about the origin of the contamination, which has killed at least 22 people and sickened more than 2,200. At least 600 remain in intensive care.

Previously officials had warned Germans to avoid eating lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Results for the remaining 17 tests are expected within 24 hours. Tests were taken from 18 sprout mixtures including beans, broccoli, garlic, peas, chickpeas, lentils, mung beans and radishes. The produce was grown to be used in salads.

German officials at one point blamed Spanish cucumbers and farmers there are fuming that they were forced to let produce rot in the field when demand dwindled after the farms were fingered in the contamination.

Review Date: 
June 6, 2011