Investigators have identified German vegetable sprouts as the source of the deadly European E.coli outbreak that has killed 31 people and sickened nearly 3,100, according to an announcement today. Germany lifted the warning against eating lettuce, cucumber, and raw tomatoes that caused losses of millions to European farmers.
German authorities have reported that a mix of sprouted seeds, which are used in salads and includes lentils, alfalfa seeds, fenugreek, and adzuki beans, could be the cause of the E. coli outbreak. These seeds are grown in warm temperatures and humidity and researchers see in these conditions, a vector of pathogenic bacteria such as EHEC and Salmonella.
The health alert launched on May 25 affected the European farmers, whose goods were no longer purchased by consumers specially in Spain and Germany, with hundreds of millions of euros.
The losses only in Spanish are estimated at around 200 million euros per week. Spain, is the main exporter of fruits and vegetables of the European Union; it sells 25% of its production in Germany.