German E.coli tests unlikely to finish soon -ministry

by Reuters
Monday, 6 June 2011 13:08 GMT

BERLIN, June 6 (Reuters) - Test results on German bean sprouts suspected to have caused an E.coli outbreak are unlikely to be concluded in the short term, the Lower Saxony state agriculture ministry said on Monday.

Of 40 samples tested so far 23 had tested negative for the bacteria. The other were still being tested.

Authorities in Germany have yet to pinpoint the exact source of the three-week outbreak that has killed 22 people in Europe and stricken more than 2,200 in a dozen countries -- all of whom had been travelling in northern Germany.

So far, bean sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce have all been suspected of spreading the E.coli bacteria that the World Health Organisation said was a rare one, seen in humans before, but never in this kind of outbreak.

(Reporting by Berlin Newsroom)

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