"E. Coli Outbreak Blamed on German Veggie Sprouts"

"HAMBURG, Germany—The terrifying E. coli outbreak in Europe appears to have been caused by vegetable sprouts grown on an organic farm in Germany, an agriculture official said Sunday as the toll climbed to at least 22 dead and more than 2,200 sickened.

Preliminary tests found that bean sprouts and other sprout varieties from the farm in the Uelzen area, between the northern cities of Hamburg and Hannover, could be traced to infections in five German states, Lower Saxony Agriculture Minister Gert Lindemann said.

'There were more and more indications in the last few hours that put the focus on this farm,' Lindemann said.

Many restaurants involved in what is now the deadliest known E. coli outbreak in modern history had received deliveries of the sprouts, which are often used in salads, Lindemann spokesman Gert Hahne told The Associated Press."

Kirsten Grieshaber and Tomislav Skaro reports for the Associated Press June 5, 2011.

Monday, June 6, 2011