Sprouts Suspected As Possible Source Of German E. Coli Outbreak

German officials on Sunday said an E. coli strain that has sickened more than 2,000 people and killed 22 may have originated in a batch of sprouts produced at an organic farm in the north of the country, the New York Times reports. However, “[t]he suggestion that sprouts may be the cause of the outbreak, one of the most catastrophic food-borne illnesses in years, was met with caution by public health experts,” who said epidemiological or laboratory evidence is necessary, according to the newspaper (Dempsey/Neuman, 6/5).

CNN reports that no evidence of E. coli has been found at the farm, but additional test results are expected Monday that could determine whether the sprouts are the source of the outbreak. Gert Lindemann, the agricultural minister in the state of Lower Saxony, said the farm had been shut down and warned people to avoid eating sprouts in addition to lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers (6/6).