Sprouts not apparently cause of E.coli outbreak

A woman holds bean sprouts with chopsticks in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, June 5, 2011. Health authorities say locally grown beansprouts 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. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

June 6, 2011 7:26:22 AM PDT
German officials say initial tests show that sprouts from an organic farm in the country's north are not the cause of the E. coli outbreak.

Lower-Saxony state's agriculture ministry said Monday that 23 of 40 samples from the sprout farm suspected of being behind the outbreak have tested negative for the relevant bacteria.

It said further tests are pending.

The E. coli outbreak in Germany has killed at least 22 people and sickened more than 2,300 across Europe, leaving customers uneasy about eating raw vegetables.

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