jpgEight children have been hospitalized in France with E. coli infections after eating meat that manufacturer SEB said came from Germany, Belgium and Holland and slaughtered and processed in France.  The children, the youngest of whom is 20 months old, had eaten defrosted hamburgers.  One child has developed HUS.

A spokesman for the Regional Health Agency (ARS) in Lille, northern France, where six (now eight) of the children were hospitalized on Wednesday, said: ‘they are in a serious but not worrying state. Their lives are not at all in danger.’ A seventh (no eight) child was taken to hospital on Thursday, authorities said.

The ‘Steak Country’ burgers were bought in French branches of German supermarket Lidl. SEB said it had recalled 10 tons of the burgers and Lidl said it had removed them from its shelves in France.

Health authorities said the infection was a rare strain of the E. coli bacteria and was not linked to the similar outbreak in Germany.