Spain’s agriculture minister has said there is no proof as yet that a rare E. coli contamination of cucumbers that has killed six people in Germany occurred in Spain.
No Spanish consumers have fallen ill, although three out of four contaminated cucumbers found in Germany were from Spanish growers. Other contaminated Spanish cucumbers were found at two Danish wholesalers.
“The alert was activated just hours after the facts, so clearly, Germany skipped the protocol in place to initiate health alerts. That is very important and very serious, not only because of the repercussions it can have on the agricultural sector, but because it only spreads panic,” said the deputy secretary of the Spanish Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers Ontse Cortiqas.
“We think they have been hasty because we know there are products that are not only from Spain, from Almeria and Malaga, but we are also being told that of the four tests carried out in Germany, one of the samples has its origin in the Netherlands,” says the president of Spain’s Hortyfruta, Fulgencio Torres.
Nearly 300 Germans have fallen ill, and the European Commission says there are also cases in Sweden, Denmark, Britain and the Netherlands.