Strain of Deadly E. Coli Bacteria Reappears in France

The same strain of deadly bacteria that caused thousands to fall ill in Germany has reappeared in France. Eight people have reported to hospitals with symptoms of e. coli poisoning. The victims all reported eating sprouts and tests revealed similar characteristics of the German e. coli strain. Investigations have revealed that the sprouts were grown with seeds from the British-owned Thompson & Morgan company.

A “tracing study carried out by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control” showed the sprouts came from fenugreek, mustard and arugula seeds supplied by British company Thompson & Morgan, a statement from Frederic Lefebvre said. “The link between symptoms and the consumption of these seeds is not definitively established to date.”

Lefebvre has instructed the directorate general to ask distributors to “immediately suspend the marketing of these products,” the statement said.

In a statement released to media, Thompson & Morgan noted that the French problems seems to be localized just to the one site, “which would indicate to us that something local in the Bordeaux area, or the way the product has been handled and grown, is responsible for the incident rather than our seeds.” The company added that it is fully cooperating with U.K. authorities in their inquiry.

The British Food Standards Agency said investigations into the outbreak in France “have suggested a possible link to sprouting seeds from a company based in the U.K. To date, no cases of food poisoning have been reported in the U.K. linked to the outbreak in France. We are in close contact with the Health Protection Agency who is actively monitoring the situation. [Source]

According to the report by CNN, the death toll has risen to 46.