Suspicions Mount on Fenugreek Seeds as Source of Deadly E. Coli Outbreak

World | July 5, 2011, Tuesday // 16:22|  views

Seeds of fenugreek sprouts lay on a scanner in Hanover, Germany, 14 June 2011. Photo by EPA-BGNES

A shipment of fenugreek seeds from Egypt to Germany is the most likely cause of the ongoing dangerous e. coli outbreak, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

"The analysis of information from the French and German outbreaks leads to the conclusion that an imported lot of fenugreek seeds which was used to grow sprouts imported from Egypt by a German importer is the most common likely link," the EFSA said, as cited by the Guardian.

The seeds seemed to have entered Europe through a single German importer, which acted as a distributor to other companies.

After conducting its tests, EFSA has urged the European commission to do everything possible to stop consumers from further exposure to the seeds. The agency also warned consumers against eating sprouts or sprouted seeds unless they are thoroughly cooked.

A wide range of products have already been blamed for the deadly outbreak that has killed 50 people in Europe (48 of the victims were in Germany, one in Sweden and one in France) and sickened more than 4000.

On Sunday, Czech food and agriculture authorities said they have found the dangerous strain of the e. coli bacteria bottled water of the local brand "Aquila Aquilinea".

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Tags: E. coli, fenugreek seeds, Egypt, Germany


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