6 Jun 2011

Beansprouts suspected as source of E.coli outbreak

9:49 pm on 6 June 2011

German officials have identified a farm in Hanover as the most likely source of infections in an E. coli outbreak that has killed 22 people.

The farm, producing beansprouts, is located in Uelzen, south of Hamburg, the epicentre of the outbreak that has also made more than 2000 people ill, the BBC reports.

Officials are awaiting results of tests on the farm's produce that will offer more conclusive proof. The farm has been closed and Germans advised to stop eating beansprouts.

Most of those made ill are in Germany, with cases concentrated in Hamburg.

Scientists say the EHEC strain of E.coli is a new hybrid form toxic to humans.

Agriculture ministers from the European Union will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday on the outbreak and its impact on vegetable producers.