Berlin, Germany – German authorities have officially confirmed it: locally grown bean sprouts are the likely source of a deadly outbreak across Europe.
The U.K.’s Guardian reports that officials from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is responsible for disease control and prevention in Germany, said there was enough evidence to link the outbreak to bean sprouts. RKI says people who ate sprouts were nine times more likely to have had severe symptoms of the E. coli bacteria infection.
Bean sprouts were initially named as the cause earlier this week but then officials backpedalled after sprouts tested negative for the strain of E. coli responsible for the outbreak.
The outbreak, says CBS news, has claimed the lives of 31 people and has sickened more than 3,000 across Europe.
German authorities have lifted the warning against eating foods such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Fallout for farmers across Europe
All Headline News.com reports that the outbreak has been devastating to farmers across Europe because authorities weren’t sure which raw vegetable was the source of the bacteria.
The European Union Commission has now increased its offer of compensation to 210 million Euros, up from 150 million Euros, says BBC News. Countries such as Spain, Italy and France are calling for pay compensation equivalent to 100 per cent of the growers’ lost income.
The hardest hit country is Spain and its fresh vegetable exporters. The EU farmers’ union puts the Spanish losses at about 200 million Euros a week. Italy is in second place for growers’ losses estimated at 100 million Euros a week. The Netherlands follows at 50 million Euros a week, reports the BBC.
Related: WHO confirms strain of E.coli bacteria