Germany admits bean sprouts caused E.coli outbreak

June 10th, 2011 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 10 (IANS) Germany has admitted that locally-grown bean sprouts were the cause of the E. coli outbreak that has killed 29 and made ill nearly 3,000 people across Europe.

Reinhard Burger, head of Germany’s national disease control centre, said that even though no tests of the sprouts from a farm in Lower Saxony had come back positive, the investigation of the pattern of the outbreak produced enough evidence to draw the conclusion, the Telegraph newspaper reported here.

“It is the sprouts,” Burger said.

The centre was lifting its warning against eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce but keeping the warning in place for the sprouts, he said.

Germany first blamed Spanish cucumbers before extending health warnings to all raw vegetables, sparking a consumer panic across Europe that badly hit the agriculture sector.

The country was rebuked by the European Union for making such claims.

John Dalli, the union’s food safety commissioner, criticised Germany for giving out unverified warnings on the cause of outbreak which triggered a consumer panic, estimated to be costing European farmers 200 million pounds a week.

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