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Czechs to Test German Beef, Pork Imports for <i>E.coli</i>

by 5m Editor
7 June 2011, at 11:23am

CZECH REPUBLIC - The Czech Republic has started testing beef and pork imports from Germany following an E.coli outbreak that so far has killed at least 22 people in Europe, a state veterinary administration official said on Tuesday.

The Czech veterinary administration plans to test around 30 samples of beef and pork imports, said Jan Vana, a director in the office's public health department.

"We have just launched a special action on sampling of beef and pork meat," Mr Vana said. "We will have the results at the end of this week."

Mr Vana added health officials knew of up to six abattoirs or meat processing plants in the Czech Republic that have imported German meat since May.

German scientists have so far found no traces of E.coli bacteria at an organic vegetable farm believed to be the source of the outbreak but said this did not mean their suspicions were wrong.

The rare Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) strain found in the outbrea k, however, is also able to survive in cows' intestines.

National farm officials will meet in Brussels on Tuesday to try to put a figure on the financial damage caused by the deadly E.coli outbreak and the slump of sales of fresh produce that followed it.