E.Coli Update - UK suffers while we wait for answers
UK suffers while we wait for answers from the land of "maybe its this" or "maybe its that"!
FPC is pressing for urgent clarification of the source of the outbreak of E.Coli in Germany - there is STILL no concrete evidence linking the outbreak to fresh produce or any other food.
While Germany continues to publicise mixed messages - "its likely to be this" and then "its likely to be that" - consumer confidence in fresh produce is being stretched to the limit and a recent shopper survey suggests some have simply stopped purchasing fresh produce altogether.
"We now know that 7,000 samples of differing origins and products have recently been tested, all of which proved negative for this strain of E.coli" said Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the FPC. "This gives a clear indication that Germany jumped the gun with its accusations and its unfounded knee jerk reaction is costing our industry dearly."
We continue to liaise with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) regarding advice to UK consumers - there is no evidence of contaminated product in the UK. The FSA has reiterated its standard basic food hygiene advice recommending that all fresh produce is washed prior to consumption.
Nigel Jenney will attend an all party parliamentary market group on Monday where 'Guidance on E.Coli 0157 is high on the agenda. Jenney will highlight the fact that speculation on the cause of this outbreak has impacted FPC members across the supply chain.
We will encourage Defra to fight the cause for the UK industry and investigate the scope for financial compensation through the European Commission and to rebuild consumer confidence. It is no surprise that the Commission has announced a modest compensatory package but totally unacceptable that it is restricted to growers and mostly those involved in producer organisations. It is outrageous that the Commission has acknowledged the severe damage caused across the industry but intends selective compensation of the few!
For further information on compensation schemes or any of the content above contact the FPC.
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