E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

UK firm linked to outbreak

27th June 2011

Frances consumer affairs Minister, Frederic Lefebvre, linked the outbreak last Friday to the seeds of UK company Thompson and Morgan, as he confirmed the sale of three seed types mustard, fenugreek and rocket had been stopped in the country.

Paul Hansord, managing director of the Ipswich-based seed firm, claims it is highly unlikely seeds supplied by the company were the cause of the outbreak. He suggests it was likely to be a localised problem in France and have more to do with the way the seeds have been handled and grown, rather than with the seeds themselves. If sprouting seeds are grown in unhygienic conditions, it can be "an excellent environment for E-coli to multiply", he said.

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