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Thai vegetables are safe from E. coli

The Department of Agriculture has affirmed that Thai vegetables are safe from the current E. coli outbreak in Europe, which has left 22 people dead so far.

Agriculture Department Director-General Jirakorn Kosaisevi said stringent measures have been used to inspect microbes as well as pests in vegetables prior to exportation. He hence expressed his confidence that Thai crops are free from the toxic E. coli.

Mr Jirakorn added that the exports of vegetables could be made as usual; however, the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) system of every farm nationwide would be reviewed to ensure safety of Thai vegetables.

The director-general pointed out that thousands of European people have been infected with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria because they usually eat fresh vegetables and salads without well-cooking. He noted that the E. coli strain that was found in vegetables was mostly contaminated with organic fertilizers.

Twenty-one people have reportedly died in Germany, and one in Sweden. Many patients have developed haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS) after the infections, which can be fatal.

Germany is identified as the epicenter of the E. coli spread while cucumbers imported from Spain are blamed as the source of the problem. However, a clarification of the contamination’s origin is not expected in the short term.

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