Verotoxinogenic Citrobacter freundii associated with severe gastroenteritis and cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome in a nursery school: green butter as the infection source

Epidemiol Infect. 1995 Jun;114(3):441-50. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800052158.


A summer outbreak of severe gastroenteritis followed by haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura in a nursery school and kindergarten is described. Sandwiches prepared with green butter made with contaminated parsley were the likely vehicle of infection. The parsley originated from an organic garden in which manure of pig origin was used instead of artificial fertilizers. Clonally identical verotoxinogenic Citrobacter freundii were found as causative agents of HUS and gastroenteritis and were also detected on the parsley.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Butter / microbiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Citrobacter freundii / isolation & purification*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Gastroenteritis / epidemiology*
  • Gastroenteritis / microbiology
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Schools, Nursery
  • Vegetables / microbiology


  • Butter