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E. coli may have had Egyptian origins

The Local · 30 Jun 2011, 06:20

Published: 30 Jun 2011 06:20 GMT+02:00

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A "rapid risk assessment" conducted by the EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), "has thus far shown" that Egyptian seeds exported in 2009 and 2010 may be implicated, it said in a statement.

"There is still much uncertainty about whether this is truly the common cause of all the infections as there are currently no positive bacteriological results," it stressed.

At least 48 people have died from an outbreak of a killer strain of E. coli bacteria centred in Germany, blamed on organic vegetable sprouts.

There has also been a separate outbreak in France linked by the government to a British sprout company in which 10 people were taken ill.

Sweden on Tuesday say it had detected the first case of infection in someone who had no link to Germany.

All the deaths so far were in Germany, except for a woman in Sweden who died after being infected in Germany.

The statement said the 2009 lot appears to be linked to the outbreak in France, and the 2010 lot to that in Germany.

"This link does not explain the most recent case in Sweden, currently under investigation, and in which thus far no consumption of sprouts has been implicated" the statement said.

The agencies said they had requested an urgent probe of the distribution of seeds from the two lots through Germany and Europe.

Story continues below…

"The export of some of the seeds imported from Egypt to another company in the UK, from where the seeds were exported to France, demonstrates the necessity of this information" said the statement.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

07:10 June 30, 2011 by auniquecorn
I think the European Food Safety Authority has made enough ASSumptions already, Would be wise to pull their heads out of their a$$es and stop the blame game.
07:21 June 30, 2011 by marimay
Especially if those seeds are from 2009. Anything could have happened to those seeds within 2 years. Maybe they should stop using old seeds?

Speaking of old... I bought a can of figs from edeka the other day. I have never bought a canned anything from any store that had expired a year prior. I generally have this problem at grocery stores in my area. It is gross.
07:43 June 30, 2011 by harcourt
I know it's a whole new topic but I too find that German Supermarkets and stores are very lax about still selling out of date produce.
08:56 June 30, 2011 by freechoice
First they said is Spanish cucumber, next beansprouts, now Egyptian fenugreek seeds? Hallo! Can you confirm before you make another bad international PR nightmare and have to ask taxpayers to pay? Science fails once again?
12:22 June 30, 2011 by lunchbreak
This episode just highlights how shockingly vulnerable we are in germany to food issues. It wouldn't take much for terrorists to poison a fair proportion of us in a coordinated effort.
13:29 June 30, 2011 by harcourt
lunchbreak is absolutely right !
15:22 June 30, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Egypt is the new Spain.
15:50 June 30, 2011 by catjones
The U.S. CDC has already commented on the inept food safety process (if you can call it that) in Germany. Since the Germans have this inflated ego problem, they can't accept that any other country can do something better than them.....and it shows.
16:13 June 30, 2011 by LiberalGuy
Is this their way of saying will still have no f'n idea
04:24 July 2, 2011 by JBlooze
Not sure what everyone expects, outbreaks occur all over the place all the time and now thanks to globalization of our food supply as well as far reaching travel of the worlds citizens, all kinds of stuff can travel all over before we even know it. They should never had made the first statement so definitive about Spain but something like this MUST take a long time to track down considering all the variables. They're not saying it IS Egypt, they are saying there are signs. I wouldn't be surprised if it just starts turning up everywhere now that the strain is out there. We have set up the perfect conditions for pandemic style disease and bacteria outbreak with our system of worldwide food delivery, mostly travelling through the same docks and warehousing. Our travel and eating habits have introduced all kinds of invasive foreign plant species and insects, why would anyone think we can stop bacteria?
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