Europe Stops Buying Spanish Produce Over Fear of Infection

Society » HEALTH | May 31, 2011, Tuesday // 14:48
Bulgaria: Europe Stops Buying Spanish Produce Over Fear of Infection Clara Aguilera (C), Minister for Agriculture of the Andalusian regional government, eats a cucumber next to Miguel Cazorla (L), the owner of a organically-grown cucumber plantation, at Cazorla`s plantation in Almeria, 30 May 2011. EPA/BGNES

Most European countries have stopped buying fruit and vegetables coming from Spain over fears they might be contaminated with a hazardous strand of the E coli bacteria.

15 deaths have already occurred - 14 in Germany and 1 in Sweden - in cases of the hemolytic uraemic syndrome, caused by the so-called enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC).

This far, the source of the outburst is believed to be a batch of organic cucumbers produced in Spain and imported into Germany.

A lot of the cases of the syndrome registered outside of Germany have been of people who had recently traveled to the country, but studies are still being done to determine the exact nature of the unusual epidemic's origin.

Spanish authorities are this far rejecting allegations that the source of the infection is vegetables from their country.

Nevertheless Tuesday the Spanish federation for the export of fruit and vegetables, FEPEX, announced that the alarm spread onto all Spanish agricultural produce and now "almost all Europe" has stopped buying from Spain.

Lately Russia announced a formal decision to ban the import of Spanish agricultural produce.

Bulgarian food authorities have this far assured that thorough inspections are being carried out and no infected produce is present within the country.

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Tags: E Coli, cucumbers, Germany, Spain, Russia, Sweden
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