Europe Investigates Link Between Sprouts And E.Coli Outbreak

Posted June 27th, 2011 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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European and French officials are looking into E. coli infections spread by sprout seeds after victims in France showed the same potentially deadly strain of bacteria as an earlier outbreak in Germany.

French officials have linked seeds from a British company to eight recent cases of E. coli infection in Bordeaux.

British firm Thompson and Morgan is cooperating with an investigation into the latest cases, but a spokesman for the company said he doubted its seeds are responsible.

The European Food Safety Authority is setting up a task force to investigate the link between sprouted seeds and the potentially deadly E. coli infections.

Several children and adults were hospitalized in France after sprouts from the seeds were served at a school event in Bordeaux. One victim is said to be in serious condition.

Initial tests show that some of those infected have the same strain of E. coli that killed more than 40 people in Germany and sickened thousands more.

British officials have cautioned people to thoroughly cook any sprouts before eating them.

Germany's disease control and prevention institute also has recommended that people abstain from eating raw sprouts from Germany.