State officials on E.coli alert

Bookmark and Share

Norway’s state agency in charge of food safety (Mattilsynet) could initially report no sign of the dreaded E.coli bacteria that’s been causing sickness and even death in several other European countries in recent days. The Norwegian government’s protectionist limits on agricultural imports may help stem any outbreaks.

That’s because most all of the cucumbers now on sale in Norwegian stores have been grown in Norway, authorities told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Hardly any of the Spanish, Danish and other European cucumbers believed to be sources of the bacteria are on the market in Norway because of import tariffs to support higher Norwegian pricing.

Authorities in Germany, where several people have died of E.coli infections, found E.coli in cucumbers from either Denmark or The Netherlands. It’s unclear how they could be a source, “but it could come from fertilizer or watering,” Terje Røyneberg of Mattilsynet told NRK. He urged strict kitchen hygiene, with thorough rinsing of all fruit and vegetables.

The Norwegian authorities said they had no reason to issue any warnings in Norway, but said they would uphold warnings against eating cucumbers, tomatoes and salad in Germany. “And we are following developments in Norway,” Torunn Stalheim of Mattilsynet told NRK.

Views and News staff