HAMBURG, Germany (AP) - By KIRSTEN GRIESHABER and TOMISLAV SKARO Associated Press
Health authorities say locally grown bean sprouts in northern Germany have been identified as the likely cause of an outbreak of E. coli that has killed at least 22 people and sickened hundreds in Europe.
Lower Saxony agriculture ministry spokesman Gert Hahne told The Associated Press his state is sending an alert warning people to stop eating the sprouts, which are often used in mixed salads.
Hahne said official test results have not yet conclusively shown that the Lower Saxony-grown sprouts are to blame but "all indications speak to them being" the cause. He says many restaurants where people ate before becoming ill had recently taken delivery of the sprouts.
However, he said there will not likely be any immediate lifting of the warning against eating tomatoes, cucumbers or lettuce.