Food Law News - EU - 1998

1 September 1998: FOOD SAFETY - Europe-Wide Alert over Italian Vegetables

DoH Press Release (98/357),1 September 1998

Europe-Wide Alert over Italian Vegetables

The UK Department of Health has been notified by the European Commission of the contamination of vegetables packed in glass jars, and produced in Italy.

There is no indication that the product has been imported into this country. It may, however, have been purchased abroad and brought home.

The product is marketed under two different names - either "Ribollita Toscana", or "Minestrone Di Verdure". It is manufactured and packed by "Fattorie Toscana Riunite SRL (Lucca) at a factory in Bolgheri-Bibbona (Livorno), Italy. It is contained in glass jars with a net weight of either 340g or 640g, and has a 'best before' date of 31/12/2002.

The warning, which has gone to all Member States of the European Union, comes after a patient was treated for botulism at the Istituto Superiore Di Sanita, Rome. Botulinum toxin was apparently detected in the product eaten by the patient.

The product is distributed within France and Germany, and is also exported to one non-Member State, Switzerland.

Since this product does not appear to be commercially available in the UK, a Category D (for information only, rather than for action) Food Hazard Notice has been issued to Environmental Health Officers in this country. The Department was informed of the warning today by the European Commission's Directorate-General XXIV, which is responsible for consumer policy and consumer health protection.

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