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    Germany's E. coli damage

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    German officials on Friday said they had found the first direct evidence of deadly E. coli bacteria on vegetable sprouts thought to have killed 33 people and left over 3,000 ill.

    State officials in North Rhine-Westphalia said they had identified the bacterium on bean sprouts found in the dustbin of a family of three, of whom two members fell ill with E. coli-related symptoms last month.

    Although the German government on Friday lifted its earlier warning against eating raw tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers, European vegetable producers say the "crisis" has dealt a stinging blow to them at the peak of the fresh produce season in Europe.

    But why did Germany spend all these weeks to find the source of the outbreak? How much damage has already been done? And what will it take to prevent another outbreak?

    Inside Story, with presenter Hazem Sika, discusses with Hugh Pennington, a bacteriologist in Aberdeen; Meghnad Desai, an economist and Labour politician in London; and Masha Lipman, a political analyst at Carnegie Moscow Centre.