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E. coli Outbreak in Germany - Update 9th June

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The German authorities today reported the results of further epidemiological studies that have strongly linked illness with the consumption of bean sprouts from one local producer.  They have further reported that three of the workers at this production plant are ill and one is confirmed as infected with the outbreak strain of Verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) O104:H4.

The German authorities also report that traceability shows direct links between the supply of bean sprouts from the production plant to the restaurant and catering outlets where many of the outbreak victims had eaten.  The production plant is now closed and the bean sprouts have been withdrawn from the market.  None of the bean sprouts from this production plant were exported from Germany.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports that since 2nd May 2011, 757 cases of haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and 2,142 non-HUS VTEC cases have been reported from European Union Member States, including 722 HUS cases and 2,086 non-HUS VTEC cases in Germany.  Nineteen of the HUS cases and eight of the non-HUS VTEC cases in EU Member states have died.  Illness has occurred in people Germany or those with a recent history of travel to the North of Germany (mainly Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg).

In Ireland, there have been no reported cases of human illness associated with the German outbreak strain of E. coli (VTEC) O104:H4.

The investigation in Germany is continuing.  The Food Safety Authority of Ireland will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as and when necessary.

Further information:
See our FAQ on E. coli (VTEC)
A breakdown of cases is available from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control