Bean and Seed Sprouts Source of E. Coli Outbreak in Germany; Rarer Forms Now a Concern in United States

After weeks of E. Coli illnesses that have taken 35 lives in Germany, left 3,255 ill and 812 with kidney failure, it has been determined that bean and seed sprouts are the source of the E. Coli bacteria.  Previously it was thought that the illnesses could be originating from cucumbers, tomatoes or lettuce.  It could well have been that eating the salad ingredients in combination with sprouts led to the confusion of which foods were actually to blame.

Now it has been found that rarer forms of E. Coli are being detected in the United States.  Recently, federal officials stated that national monitoring of foodborne illnesses revealed that a growing number of illnesses last year from a group of rare E. Coli bacteria related to the highly dangerous strain that has been sweeping across Germany.

It seems that the most common form of E. Coli affecting U.S. citizens, O157:H7, was not the predominant strain in the year 2010.  Those rarer strains recently found in Germany accounted for more illnesses during this time period.  These statistics are probably due to the fact more laboratories in the U.S. have begun testing for the presence of these rare strains.  Thankfully, the rarer strains of E. Coli detected in individuals in the U.S. have led to fewer deaths and less illness than E. Coli O157:H7 typically causes.

This new information demonstrating an increase in rare forms of E. Coli in the U.S. may add fuel to the growing debate about whether government officials should require meat packers to test for these rarer strains, and whether it should be made illegal to sell beef products that contain the bacteria.

New rules have been drafted by the Agriculture Department concerning the non-O157 forms of E. Coli, but these new rules have been stalled in review by the Obama administration.   If you fear you have acquired food poisoning, make sure that you obtain treatment as soon as possible, but first and foremost always be careful to understand the diagnosis and use methods of E. Coli prevention to protect your health.

Food poisoning involving E. Coli food poisoning bacteria typically causes symptoms that include bloody diarrhea, stomach tenderness or cramps and nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting.  Young children, pregnant women and the elderly are most at risk of developing serious complications such as HUS (hemolytic-uremic syndrome), a condition that often leads to kidney failure.

Brown Chiari is a team of New York food poisoning lawyers dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients.  Contact us for a free evaluation of your case.

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