FSAI Advises Against the Consumption or Service of Raw Bean Sprouts
Saturday, 25 June 2011
All raw bean sprouts and other raw sprouted seeds
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The French Authorities are investigating an outbreak of foodborne illness caused by Verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) 0104:H4. There are eight reported cases. This is the same strain as that identified in the recent large outbreak in Germany associated with bean sprouts.
Most of those ill in France have eaten bean sprouts (sprouted seeds) and, given that the causative microbe is the same as in the outbreak in Germany, it is considered by the French at this time that bean sprouts are the most likely cause of the outbreak there.
The source of the bean sprouts or the seeds from which they were sprouted is not known at this time and is the subject of ongoing investigation. The implicated bean sprouts are unlikely to have originated in the German organic bean sprout farm as this farm is closed and it is known not to have exported bean sprouts.
This raises the possibility that contaminated seeds are on the market. Therefore as a precautionary measure, and until investigations are concluded, FSAI advises, for the time being that consumers should not to eat raw bean sprouts or other sprouted seeds and caterers should not serve raw bean sprouts or other sprouted seeds.