Czech Republic imported contaminated cucumbers: report

29th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Czech Republic has imported a batch of cucumbers from Spain believed to have caused the deadly infection that has killed several people in Germany, the CTK news agency wrote Saturday.

Citing the Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (SZPI), CTK said it was unclear whether the bio-cucumbers, suspected to have been contaminated by a deadly strain of E. coli bacteria, were sold on the market or merely imported.

The Czech authority learnt about the import from the European Union's rapid warning system, said SZPI spokesman Michal Spacil.

"The Germans said the cucumbers were also distributed to Hungary, Austria and Luxembourg," he said, adding that food inspectors would on Sunday start a check at the company that imported the batch through a German supplier.

Germany, the Czech Republic's western neighbour, said Saturday the number of deaths feared to have been caused by suspected E. coli-contaminated cucumbers had risen to ten.

It has confirmed 276 cases of the potentially fatal haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), by far the largest number in Europe.

Sweden, Denmark, Britain, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland have all reported HUS cases too.

Spanish authorities said Saturday they had introduced restrictions on two distributors suspected of exporting tainted cucumbers.

© 2011 AFP

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