Sunday, June 5, 2011
E.COLI SPROUTS WERE GROWN IN GERMANY
It looks like imported food was not to blame after all. Bean sprouts are now suspected of causing this deadliest outbreak of food borne illness known. It has sickened over 2,000 people and caused at least 22 deaths. And, these sprouts originated right in northern Germany, where the outbreak centered.
The sprouts were in fact grown on a farm in lower Saxony. The ministry spokesman Gert Hahne told The Associated Press: "Bean sprouts have been identified as the product that likely caused the outbreak," Hahne added: "Many restaurants that suffered from an E.coli outbreak had those sprouts delivered."
Today, the Lower Saxony agriculture ministry sent out an alert, advising people not to eat the sprouts - on salads, in sandwiches, or in any form.
What we still don't know is exactly where and how the deadly E.coli entered the sprouts. The farm level is the obvious place to suspect, and most likely, the water used for irrigation, from improperly composted manure used as fertilizer or from grazing animals. Contaminants can also be in sprout seeds before they are even sent to the grower. Or, though less likely, contaminants can enter during processing.
Can you make sprouts safe? I'll deal with this in the next blog. In the meantime, if you have a copy, read about it in the book.
To your good health!