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Determining the source of the deadly E.coli outbreak

Last week, a deadly E.coli outbreak hit the media and many were questioning who and/or what caused this awful product liability. You may have heard a lot about E.coli, but our Chicago personal injury attorneys realize that many people may not know that it is an infection that is caused by Escherichia coli bacteria that resides in the intestine. It is most often caused due to undercooked beef, but outbreaks can also occur where unhealthy eating habit is practiced or when food or water contaminated with that bacteria is consumed. Signs and symptoms of E.coli include bloody diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramping, vomiting, fever, bloating, and loss of appetite.

The most recent E.coli outbreak was traced to German-grown beansprouts. This outbreak has been especially disconcerting because it has killed twenty-two people to date and has made more than 2,200 ill with food poisoning. It led one country to bar European Union fruit and vegetable imports. Investigators traced the rare, highly toxic strain of the bacteria to a farm about 40 miles south of Hamburg. Health facilities near the center of the outbreak are struggling to cope with the flood of victims. After three weeks of the wrongful deaths and widespread consumer fears linked to the E.coli strain, officials said that there appeared to be clear links between the vegetables from the farm and the food eaten by some victims.

Officials stated the beansprouts, alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts, radish sprouts, and arugala sprouts may be connected to the E.coli outbreak. Raw sprouts, like the ones involved in the outbreak, are popular among Germans and are often mixed in salads or added to sandwiches in German meals. Officials have been warning consumers to avoid tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. At first, the outbreak was questionably linked to Spanish cucumbers; Spanish farmers lost sales that have cost 200 million euros a week. They may claim compensation as the crisis could put 70,000 people out of work in Spain, which is already suffering from the highest unemployment in the European Union.

Visit the Chicago Tribune to read more about the deadly E.coli outbreak.