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Business News of Monday, 6 June 2011

Source: GNA

Trade Ministry monitoring outbreak of e-coli in imported vegetables

Accra, June 6, GNA - The Ministry of Trade and Industry on Monday said it was keenly monitoring the outbreak of e-coli in some vegetables imported from Europe.

It said any development that was deemed significant would be communicated to the public.

A statement issued by the Ministry said according to the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) there was no immediate risk to Ghana health wise, however, Ghana imported vegetables from countries that shared borders with Germany. The countries are The Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Denmark, Germany and Italy.

It said the FDB was carefully observing and monitoring the situation.

"It was until last Sunday, when a farm in Uelzen in Northern Germany was identified as the most likely source of the infection, through locally produced beansprouts=85Because of effective traceability the isolation of the incidence has been enhanced," it added.

According to the FBD, e-coli is a temperate organism that cannot survive above 45 Degrees Celsius.

In addition, the World Health Organisation operates information sharing of food safety alert system known as International Food Safety Authority Network and so far, there is no indication that Ghana has received such alert with respect to the e-coli.

The statement said available information provided by Ghana Community Network Services Limited operators of electronic system for processing trade and customs documents in Ghana indicated that the total volume of vegetable imports from 2010 to the first quarter of 2011 from European countries was 152,047.81 gross mass, which amounted to GH¢1,170,958.50 CIF (Virulence factor).

Out of this, only 199.43 gross mass amounting to GH¢1,313.99 was imported from Germany, the country most affected by the e-coli. The major importers of these vegetables are Shoprite, Kwatsons Ghana Limited, Damond Limited and Soffish Ventures Limited.

The rest are Adwoa Ampim Yankey, Ama Ampim, Wiomex Limited and BFGM Company Limited.