For the second time this week the Dutch Food Quality Authority (nVWA) has found sprouts contaminated with the EHEC bacterium, although it is not the lethal O104 variant. A spokesperson for the Authority said on Friday that the beet seed sprouts have been withdrawn from the market on the orders of Health Minister Edith Schippers.
The purple roots of beet seeds are grown industrially in hothouses and are mainly used as garnish on salads. Their nutritional value is low. The labels of the pulled brand, Van der Plas/Rosabi, have been published by nVWA; people who bought the product are advised to throw them away with the garbage.
The lethal EHEC variant has cost 31 lives in Germany and 1 in Sweden. So far, six people in the Netherlands have been infected with the dangerous germ which can cause intestinal damage and rhenal disfunction. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment says it is likely that the six Dutch people were infected on recent visits to neighbouring Germany.
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