THE E.coli bacteria ‘crisis’ has not only affected the production of cucumbers in Spain, but other vegetables including peppers. The crisis occurred after an E.coli outbreak in northern Germany was incorrectly blamed by German authorities on Spanish cucumbers.
As a result thousands of kilos of peppers have been destroyed as part of health measures by the Government’s Agriculture Department.
Millions more kilos of peppers are scheduled to be discarded, especially in the agricultural areas of the Valencian and Murcia Regions. The European Union subsidizes the producers with 44 cents per kilo destroyed. “Some of us larger traders already threw away 40,000kg two weeks ago and we expect to withdraw a further 15,000 to 20,000kg more later this month,” said Juan Pastor, head of administration for one of the most prominent export companies in the Vega Baja.
“The food either goes into animal feed or to a landfill, but in the end it is the government that decides where the vegetables are disposed, not us,” said Pastor.
Photo credit: John of Austin