Beans and sprouts
Mung bean sprouts delicious and dangerous
Mung beans have been cultivated for thousands of years and are native to India. China have been growing mung beans for over 3000 years and large scale cultivations are mostly in India, Indonesia, China, Burma, and Bangladesh. In these countries, mung beans are used in different dishes. In western countries, mung beans are mostly popular known as bean sprouts.
Mung beans and especially the sprouts pose a great risk of human infections if not handled properly. Growing conditions for mung bean sprouts consist of a warm and highly humid environment which invites bacteria growth. Nevertheless, the mung beans themselves are also contaminated and it only takes a few bacteria strains in such an environment in order to create infectious bacteria doses in just a few hours.
Beans and sprouts may be contaminated with different types of infectious bacteria including Escherichia coli, Listeria, Bacillus cereus and Salmonella.
Bean sprouts were responsible for killing more than 30 people and hospitalizing over 3,000 people.
In June 2011, more than 30 people were killed due to a pathogenic E. coli strain and more than 3,000 were hospitalized. At least 100 of them will require lifelong kidney dialysis or kidney transplants.
In Europe, the use of chemicals to control bacteria is forbidden. A novel decontamination step like SonoSteam for beans and sprouts will be in high demand.
June 10th, 2011. German tests link bean sprouts to deadly E. coli