A warning has been issued about eating certain raw vegetables from Northern Germany. It follows an alarming outbreak of E.coli food poisoning in the region. So far three people have died in the past two weeks with a further 350 suspected cases being investigated.
Consumers are being warned to take extra care with food hygiene.
Public health official Reinhard Burger said:
“This is a most virulent strain of E.coli known as EHEC and there have been more cases in one week than is usual. Three foods are now suspected: raw tomatoes, cucumbers and possibly lettuce.”
One-hundred-and-forty people have been hospitalised in northern Germany, most of them young women. The bacteria can cause stomach cramps, diarrhoea and even kidney failure.
Scientists are scrambling to find the exact source of the contamination but until they do, washing and cooking vegetables thoroughly is the best form of protection.