Eight children admitted to hospital in northern France after eating beefburgers infected with a strain of E.coli bacteria are seriously ill, health officials said on Thursday, fanning fears of a wider outbreak.
The officials said the bacteria did not appear to be related to the lethal strain of E.coli that has killed 37 people and made 3,000 ill, most of them in northern Germany. Privately owned German discount chain Lidl withdrew boxes of the frozen beefburgers believed to be behind the French infections. The boxes were sold under the brand "Steaks Country" and had expiry dates of May 10, 11 and 12, officials said. On Wednesday six children, aged between 20 months and eight years and from different towns in the Pas de Calais region, were taken to a hospital in the city of Lille after suffering bouts of bloody diarrhea. One was released, but five are in a "serious condition" and still being treated at the hospital. Three are being treated with hemodialysis, a method of removing waste products from the blood in the case of kidney failure. - Yahoo.Meanwhile, French health authorities have ordered a recall of hamburger patties sold by a German supermarket chain after eight children were infected by the E. coli bacteria.
The regional health agency said there was no immediate sign of a link with the deadly E. coli outbreak in Germany in recent weeks. The health agency for the Nord Pas-de-Calais region said the eight children were hospitalized with infections stemming from E. coli. The infections cause severe diarrhea. It said that four of the children ate frozen ground beef patties made in French factory and sold by German supermarket chain Lidl. Authorities ordered the patties recalled pending further investigation. The beef for the patties came from farms in France, Germany and the Netherlands, said the French manufacturer that supplied the meat for the patties, SEB. The recall affects about 10 tons of meat, Guy Lamorlette of SEB told The Associated Press. He said the patties were analyzed before being delivered to supermarket distributors. The family of one of the hospitalized children brought a box of the patties to health authorities for analysis,said Jerome Gresland, the co-director of Lidl France. Elsewhere in Europe on Thursday, Germany's disease control centre reported one more patient died in Germany's E. coli outbreak. - CBC.