Cucumbers analysed are not infected

Analysis in Portugal to detect the presence of E. coli in cucumbers imported from Spain has proved negative.

A spokesman from the Food and Economic Safety Authority (ASAE) told Lusa news agency: “This action was taken before Germany announced that, contrary to previous thinking, the source of the outbreak with the infectious bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) was not in Spanish cucumbers.”

ASAE reported that 241 traders were monitored and 6.4 tonnes of cucumbers were taken out of the market.

Meanwhile, Spain is seeking compensation from Germany for false accusation and EU farmers want compensation for loss of sales.

EU Ministers are to discuss aid for farmers who have been badly hit due to growing consumer fears over the spread of the bacteria.

Madrid is to ask for full compensation from Germany for the losses which the country’s fruit and vegetable exporters association, Fepex, estimates at €225 million a week since the crisis began.