UAE bans cucumbers from 4 European countries: report

2nd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The United Arab Emirates has banned the import of cucumbers from four European countries, newspapers reported on Thursday, due to fears from the E. coli bacteria which has killed 18 people in Europe.

"Supermarkets in Abu Dhabi have removed imported cucumbers from Germany, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands for a second round of testing for E. coli contamination," reported The National daily.

"The vegetables were taken off shelves ... hours after the Ministry of Environment and Water imposed a temporary import ban of the vegetable from those countries," the English-language daily added.

Meanwhile, "other vegetables from these countries will be allowed into the UAE only if importers present a health certificate stating the food is free of E. coli," it said.

Dubai municipality had also banned imports of "lettuce, tomatoes and organic cucumbers from the four European countries," said The National.

State news agency WAM however reported that the UAE gets only two percent of its cucumber imports from Europe.

The outbreak has killed 17 people and left hundreds ill across Europe, mainly in Germany, with health authorities searching for the cause after Spanish cucumbers were initially blamed.

© 2011 AFP

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