Germany now claims that the outbreak of 'E.coli' comes from locally grown soybeans


German health authorities today lifted the warning against eating cucumbers, lettuce and raw tomatoes after finding that infection with an aggressive strain of the bacterium E. coli has "almost absolute security" originated from sprouts.

This was announced today the spokespeople of the Robert Koch Institute of Virology and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in a joint press conference in Berlin.

The health ministers, Daniel Bahr, and Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner, expressed "relief" to such information and defended as "correct" the warning issued on May 25 against the consumption of these vegetables raw, due to "substantiated suspicion" they could be carriers of infection.

"The move was successful, and according to all security parameters given by experts in this type of infection," Bahr said in a brief joint appearance with his colleague of Agriculture, at the seat of Parliament.

The recommendation not to consume these products, Bahr said, probably contributed to that there were no more cases of infection, "because the seeds are usually used in combination with salads," he added.

The intervention of the two ministers took place immediately after the hearing of experts, who maintained the warning against the consumption of these seeds germinated in outbreaks of mung beans or soybeans.

All research points to a producer of the northern federal state of Lower Saxony, whose farm has been sealed, as reported by the two ministers, as the source of infection that has caused 30 deaths in Germany and 1 in Sweden.

Aigner emphasized that all indications are that "the worst is over", as it has sent the number of new infections, but warned consumers that in any case desirable "extreme hygiene measures" for the consumption of raw vegetables.

Reinhard Burger, director of the Robert Koch Institute, said earlier that the number of patients affected by the infection of "E.coli" and he had sent back a call for people to observe hygiene standards in handling vegetables and other raw food.

Suspicions focus on seed organically grown farm in the town of Bienenbüttel, in the district of Uelzen, in which several of its employees had contracted the disease several weeks ago and supplied its products to several restaurants whose customers recorded a high number of patients.

"The work of the experts has been complicated, because it was reconstructed in each of the victims who had consumed during the past fortnight, until set, almost certainly, these seeds were the source," said Bahr.

Analyses in the company after becoming suspicious were negative, although it is possible that the source of infection disappeared after the outbreak without a trace.

Until now it had pointed to various sources of origin of the bacteria, which have since been discarded. At first, producers were accused Spanish cucumbers to be the cause of the epidemic, although this point was discarded later. Bean sprouts also emerged as a possible cause, although as in the case of cucumbers, were also discarded.