E. coli O104 death toll at 5, 276 with HUS, over 600 ill, Spain complains
Posted: May 27th, 2011 - 11:38am by Doug Powell
German public health authority Robert Koch Institute (RKI) confirmed Friday that five people have now been killed by E. coli O104 linked to organic cucumbers from Spain.
"The Andalusian authorities are investigating to find out where the contamination comes from and when it took place," said a spokesman for the Spanish food safety agency AESA on Friday.
Spanish senior official Josep Puxeu said Germany informed the press about the disease before informing the EU, as it should have done, and that Spain has stopped cucumber deliveries while stressing there is no proof that the EHEC entered Germany through Spanish cucumbers.
There has been no report of contamination within Spain, AESA said.
Meanwhile, the outbreak is spreading across northern Europe. Health officials in Denmark and Sweden reported Friday a total of 32 confirmed cases of people afflicted by the EHEC bacterium, all of whom had previously been travelling in Germany.
Denmark's veterinary and food products agency said Friday it had found contaminated cucumbers from Spain in the stocks of two wholesalers in the west of the country and ordered them withdrawn.