The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of E.coli in Germany. The specific strains involved are called Shiga toxin-producing E.coli and are known to cause amongst other symptoms Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome in humans which is acquired as a foodborne illness and can cause serious health effects.
In order to respond as quickly as possible, EFSA is liaising with the European Commission, the European Union Reference Laboratory for VTEC, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as well as with all relevant Member States through its Advisory Forum network and has put internal procedures in place, should an urgent request for advice be required.
In collaboration with ECDC and the Member States, EFSA collects data on foodborne outbreaks across Europe on an annual basis. In such circumstances, these data serve as valuable historical records on the frequency of similar events.