Germany's biggest outbreak of food poisoning, in which more
than 11,000 schoolchildren have been laid low by diarrhoea
and vomiting, is "very likely" to have been caused by a batch
of frozen strawberries, authorities say.
Children in almost 500 schools and daycare centres across
eastern Germany that received food from a subcontractor of
the catering firm Sodexo have been affected, and at least 32
have been treated in hospital.
The Robert Koch Institute, which advises the German Health
Ministry on infectious diseases, said it had found a "strong
and statistically significant link" between the outbreak and
"consumption of products made from a batch of frozen
Many of the patients were found to be infected with
noroviruses, it said in a joint statement with a task force
set up by the government and affected states.
Sodexo announced that it planned to compensate victims and
said further details would be announced in the next few days.
In a statement, it apologised to the children and their
families for "an extremely regrettable one-off incident" and
said it would select its suppliers "even more rigorously" in