Irish say do not eat raw sprouts
Posted: June 25th, 2011 - 8:51am by Doug Powell
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland gets it right, and said this morning, don’t eat sprouts.
The German outbreak of E. coli O104 that has killed 45 and sickened some 3,800 has now spread to the Bordeaux region of southern France and sickened at least 10 people.
The N.Y. Times reports this morning what food safety types have been saying all along: a common supplier sprout seed might be the ultimate source of the E. coli O104 and if those seeds are still in circulation, other outbreaks could occur.
William E. Keene, a senior epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division, said it was urgent to find out if the seeds used by the German grower had come from the same source as the seeds linked to the French cases.
At least five of the French cases involved kidney failure, and tests on two of those people showed they were infected with the O104:H4 strain. The eight people infected in the Bègles area were adults, age 31 to 78. In addition, two children were sickened in another town and they were presumed also to have E. coli infections, although it was not clear if they had the same strain.
The source of the bean sprouts or the seeds from which they were sprouted is not known at this time and is the subject of ongoing investigation. The implicated bean sprouts are unlikely to have originated in the German organic bean sprout farm as this farm is closed and it is known not to have exported bean sprouts.
This raises the possibility that contaminated seeds are on the market. Therefore as a precautionary measure, and until investigations are concluded, FSAI advises, for the time being that consumers should not to eat raw bean sprouts or other sprouted seeds and caterers should not serve raw bean sprouts or other sprouted seeds.
Who knows what kind of crap is sprouting by your kitchen windowsill or in your herb garden.
Given the number of dead and dying related to this outbreak, the traceback has been an enormous failure.
A table of international sprout outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/sprouts-associated-outbreaks.