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Farmers destroy cucumbers over E.coli fears

Swiss farmers are having to destroy stocks of cucumbers as a result of fears over the deadly E.coli outbreak, of which there are now three cases in Switzerland.

This is despite the fact that cucumbers have been cleared as the source of the bacteria, which has killed at least 17 people in neighbouring Germany.

According to a Swiss television report, the Seeländer BioGroup alone will have to destroy 30,000-40,000 of its cucumbers. Another Zurich farmer is due to throw away around 10,000 cucumbers that he could not sell on Friday.

It has been reported that farmers have seen their turnover from fresh vegetables drop by up to 50 per cent.

The Federal Health Office says that Swiss fresh vegetables are safe. It reported a third case of E.coli infection in Switzerland on Friday.

Scientists have blamed Europe's worst recorded food-poisoning outbreak – of which there are around 1,000 cases and which has spread to at least ten countries – on a "super-toxic" strain of E. coli bacteria that may be new. But the source still remains unidentified.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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