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E.coli - source believed to be Germany

Mon 6th Jun 2011

Further developments in the German E.Coli outbreak have revealed that Germany itself is the source of the infection and not Spain, as they had originally suspected. This weekends formal announcement by the German authorities effectively exonerates Spain as playing in part in the 22 deaths amongst thousands of infected it 12 countries.

Over the course of the weekend the agriculture minister for Lower Saxony in Germany, Gert Lindemann, announced to the media that scientists and medical investigators now believed the source of the infection to come from bean sprouts grown on a farm close to Hamburg - the worst area hit by the outbreak.

The Farm has now been closed and the government have warned against eating ant kind of bean sprout that is commonly found in salds - including adzuki, alfalfa, broccoli, peas, lentils.

The official warned that there could be other sources, with the Hamburg farm being considered as only one of several being investigated, however, it continued to warn people against the consumption of other salad produce, including cucumbers, although it admitted that the outbreak seemed to be slowing down.

Spain, which has reportedly lost hundreds of millions in euros and hundreds of jobs due to a ban being placed on salad exports, declined to make any comment on the matter.

Europe's agriculture commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, spoke of a meeting which will be held on June 17th to discuss financial assistance to those farmer affected by the ban.

A statement by the Spanish Foreign Ministry announced that the Minister of state for European affairs, Diego Lopez Garrido, would be meeting his counterpart Werner Hoyer in Berlin on Wednesday. It is expected that the Minister will demand that Germany helps restore the reputation of, and boost consumer confidence in, Spanish produce around Europe.

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