E. coli outbreak update: raw sprouts still a danger

June 29, 2011

U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- The Europe Regional Medical Command and the Public Health Command Region-Europe advise all Department of Defense personnel and their families to avoid eating raw sprouts from any source. 

German public health authorities report a strong correlation between the consumption of raw sprouts and E. coli outbreak patients. Specific sources of the outbreak remain uncertain.

In addition, ERMC officials announced that raw tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuces from DOD approved sources within Europe will continue to enter U.S. Government-sponsored commissaries and dining facilities throughout Europe as there is no known concern for these foods.

The following precautions can be taken to lower the risk of possible food contamination and human infection from fruits and vegetables:

- Wash hands before and after preparing foods

- Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating

- Avoid cross-contamination of different foods

- Store foods at  low temperatures

- Peel and cook fruits and vegetables to further remove microbes

If sprouts are eaten, thoroughly steam sprouts before eating