German authorities doubt role of Spanish cucumbers

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German authorities on Tuesday voiced doubt over whether Spanish cucumbers caused the massive outbreak of a deadly bacterial infection that has left at least 16 dead.

"As before the source remains unidentified," Hamburg chief health official Cornelia Pruefer-Storcks told a news conference.

"Out of four cucumbers on which we have been able to confirm the presence of the EHEC pathogen, we have been able to establish -- as far as two of them are concerned -- that they carry the EHEC pathogen, but not the strain responsible for the current difficult developments," she added.

© 2011 AFP

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