The Federal Health Office has reported a third case in Switzerland of the potentially deadly E.coli infection that has been affecting European countries.
It said on Friday that like the two previous cases, the bacterium had been contracted during a stay in Germany, the country with the most cases so far. All three patients are reported to be stable.
Scientists have blamed Europe’s worst recorded food-poisoning outbreak – which has caused at least 18 deaths, 17 of them in Germany – on a “super-toxic” strain of E.coli bacterium that may be new. But the source still remains unidentified.
The total number of cases in Germany has now reached over 1,700. Infections have been recorded in around ten countries.
It has also emerged that Swiss farmers are having to destroy stocks of cucumbers as a result of fears over E.coli. This is despite the fact that cucumbers have been cleared as the source of the bacteria.
According to a Swiss television report, the Seeländer BioGroup alone will have to destroy 30,000-40,000 of its cucumbers. Another Zurich farmer was 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 Health Office says that Swiss fresh vegetables are safe.