EHEC: Do not eat homemade sprouts



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EHEC: Do not eat homemade sprouts

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin advises all consumers not to eat raw sprouts or seedlings that they have grown themselves. There are currently growing indications that the seeds for sprouts in particular are contaminated with the dangerous EHEC bacterial strains. Therefore, not only the sprouts from the Lower Saxony organic farm are affected, but very likely seeds, such as those that can be bought in German trade.
According to information from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, epidemiological evidence is increasing that sprout seeds could have caused a contamination of the sprouts. Lower Saxony's health authorities are currently reporting an EHEC case in which self-grown sprouts were most likely the cause. The entire family had contracted the mutated EHEC germ and is currently being treated in hospital. So far, the EHEC germ could not be detected on the semen using laboratory technology. Many people use the opportunity to grow sprouts in their own garden or home. The breeding tanks are available in numerous shops. "If the seeds are already contaminated with germs, then compliance with kitchen hygiene rules does not protect against an EHEC disease," said BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "For precautionary reasons, the BfR therefore recommends that you do not consume raw sprouts that you have grown yourself."

Already last Friday, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the Robert Koch Institute and the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection warned urgently against the consumption of sprouts in addition to intensive hand washing and the usual hygiene measures. This warning applies for an indefinite period of time until the new infection rate has decreased significantly. Researchers at the National Reference Laboratory for Escherichia coli at BfR have meanwhile confirmed that the raw sprouts contaminated with EHEC, which came from a household with patients with EHEC in North Rhine-Westphalia, were identical to the bacterial strain from the sick patients.

Authorities continue to search for EHEC source of origin
According to the BfR, the authorities are still actively trying to find the so-called entry path for the contamination of the sprouts. The primary concern is to trace back any contaminated seeds. For this purpose, all available data on delivery lists and distribution channels, cases of illness, etc. are intensively examined, evaluated and supplemented. Through the analysis, the researchers hope to be able to clarify the EHEC outbreak. Seed samples are currently being tested in some laboratories. The first results are expected at the beginning of the current week. (sb)

Also read:
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Sprouts clearly cause the EHEC symptoms
EHEC rapid test not a silver bullet
Autoantibodies worsen EHEC symptoms
Neurological disorders as EHEC symptoms
EHEC infections: first signs of abating
WHO: New EHEC pathogen strain triggers infections

Image: Sigrid Rossmann / pixelio.de

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