Germany has finally found the culprit in the recent outbreak of E. coli -- it turns out it was the bean sprouts after all.
Germany's national disease control center announced this morning that the organically grown bean sprouts from a farm in Germany are responsible for the 31 E. coli-related deaths, largely in Germany, and some 3,000 infections, spanning 13 different countries.
The World Health Organization found that the strain of E. coli infecting patients is rare and severe.
Although previous tests on the sprouts did not test positive for the bacteria, German officials have linked people infected with the bacteria to restaurants, and also linked to a farm in the north of the country.
It is believed that the infected sprouts have been consumed or disposed of since the outbreak occurred.
German officials originally pointed their fingers at Spanish cucumbers, in a costly accusation that still has the Spanish agricultural sector up-in-arms.
After the allegations were lodged, Spanish farming group Agricultural Cooperatives reported that the international community's resultant import bans on Spanish cucumbers cost up to $287 million, endangering 70,000 jobs, largely located in economically disadvantaged Andalusia, in Spain's South.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to push for European Union (EU) aid to Spain in compensation for her administration's gaffe.
But after the EU offered Spain assistance to the tune of over $220 million, the Spanish agricultural minister Rosa Aguilar rejected the offer saying that the amount would not be enough to offset an economically devastating hit to her country's farmers.