Is it the seeds?

With the numbers of deaths (at last count at last 44) still rising in Europe stemming from the German E. coli O104:H4 bean sprout outbreak, and with outbreak illness also tied to Michigan, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and the probable death of a 65 year old man in Arizona, it is hard to keep track of all the other E. coli outbreaks happening around the world.

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 2.07.51 PM.pngIn the United States E. coli has sickened over two dozen children in apparently separate outbreaks in Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama. And, in France a week ago several children were stricken by E. coli-tainted hamburger from Germany in the French city of Lille.

Then today a French minister pointed to a British producer of vegetable sprouts as the possible source of 10 suspected cases of E. coli poisoning in Bordeaux in southwestern France. Apparently, at least six out of the 10 people were found to have eaten the sprouts at a local “fete in Begres” and seven are hospitalized.

According to press reports, tests had shown two of the patients were infected by the same (presumably, E. coli O104:H4) deadly strain of the disease found in Germany, but officials did not say whether there was a link between the two outbreaks. Frederic Lefebvre, secretary of state for consumer affairs, said the sprouts were purchased at a Jardiland store and were produced by Thompson & Morgan based in Ipswich, England.

It is going to be a busy summer. I am glad I took German in High School and French in College.