Catering businesses must take care when preparing food, says FSA
05/06/2011 - 23:00

Caterers and consumers are being reminded to take great care when preparing food following the recent E.coli outbreak in Germany.

The Food Standards Agency is continuing to liaise with the European Commission, other Government agencies and industry bodies on the ongoing investigation into the E. coli outbreak in Germany.

The Health Protection Agency has identified seven people in the UK who may be associated with the outbreak. All of them have recently travelled to or from Germany.

The latest update from the European Commission suggests that the exact source of the contamination may have been a bean sprout production facility in Germany.

The sprouted seed mix has been identified as a possible cause of the outbreak because of a link between food businesses that have used the sprouted seeds and people becoming ill from E.coli.

The FSA advises consumers and businesses to wash fruit and vegetables before eating them to ensure that they are clean, and to help remove germs that might be on the outside. Peeling or cooking fruit and vegetables can also remove these germs.

Catering managers should also be continuing to monitor their staff health for any food poisoning symptoms.

Samples of the seeds are being tested for the presence of E.coli and more results are expected later today.

E. coli is a group of bacteria that usually live in the intestine of people and animals. Most types are harmless, but some can cause "Travellers' or diarrhoea".