ABU DHABI // Supermarkets in Abu Dhabi have removed imported cucumbers from Germany, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands for a second round of testing for E.coli contamination.
The vegetables were taken off shelves yesterday, hours after the Ministry of Environment and Water imposed a temporary import ban of the vegetable from those countries.
"We took the decision to allow us to carry out secondary testing on the cucumbers," said Mohammed al Reyaysa, the director of communications at Abu Dhabi's Food Control Authority (ADFCA). "So far all the testing we have carried out has not found any E.coli contamination.
"The cucumbers have been removed as a precaution and we will return them once we get the all clear from the tests, which I expect later this morning."
In a resolution issued by Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, other vegetables from these countries will be allowed into the UAE only if importers present a health certificate stating the food is free of E.coli, Wam reported.
The state news agency said the ban was imposed after the ministry received information from international food safety organisations on the contamination.
The move came a day after Dubai Municipality imposed its own import ban on lettuce, tomatoes and organic cucumbers from the four European countries.
A deadly strain of the E.coli bacteria has killed 16 people in Germany and left more than a 1,000 others ill across Europe.
The source of the contamination was initially believed to be organic cucumbers imported into Germany from Spain, but further testing found that not to be the case.
The European Commission lifted its warning on Spanish cucumbers yesterday, saying tests did not find the specific E.coli strain.