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June 6, 2011

UPDATE: GERMANY: Officials cast doubt on bean sprout E. coli link

German health officials have suggested that contaminated bean sprouts may not have caused the E. coli outbreak that has killed more than 20 people across Europe.

German health officials have suggested that contaminated bean sprouts may not have caused the E. coli outbreak that has killed more than 20 people across Europe.

The  Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection (LAVES) had said earlier today (6 June) that it suspected that bean sprouts from a farm in the German town of Bienenbüttel may have been responsible for the outbreak of EHEC that has been described by scientists as being “super-toxic”.

However, this afternoon, the office moved to play down the claims, saying that it has examined some 23 out of 40 samples and that those samples have tested negatively to signs of the E. coli strain.

LAVES has still not ruled out the possibility that the outbreak might have originated at the farm, adding that as several weeks have passed since the first infection, it will be difficult to find evidence of the bacteria.

The investigation remains ongoing, emphasised LAVES.

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