Saudi Ban European Veggies

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The Saudi Foodand Drug Authority (SFDA) ban import of canned vegetables and salad from Europe to prevent any consignment of banned products from entering the country. The move is part of the preventive measures of any contaminated agricultural products from entering the region.

The recent E.Coli outbreak in Germany has cautioned the regulatory body to take such a step. German officials struggled to pin down the source of the infections for weeks, and have asked people to avoid lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and vegetable sprouts.

Dr. Ebrahim Al Mohaizie, deputy head of the food sector at SFDA, however, reaffirmed that Saudi Arabia is free from any deadly virus. He reassured that the situation is satisfactory in the kingdom and the regulatory body is monitoring all imports from Europe.

SFDA is the supreme authority in charge of ensuring food safety in the Kingdom. The authority has additional powers of licensing and ensuring quality and standard of foodstuffs.

Several precautionary measures have been advised by the authority to prevent any outbreak, such as personal hygiene, proper washing of vegetables while cooking and serving them, and washing hands before and after taking vegetables.

Officials also warn of potential risks involved in fruit and vegetable imports from farms that are not maintained properly.

The minister, Dr. Fahd Balghunaim, said that the ban would continue until the source of the virus becomes clear. He also confirmed that E. coli infected cucumbers that appeared last week in several European countries have not entered the Kingdom.

Source: Gulf News

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