8 Oct 2014

Vege growers dispute gastro crop link

12:28 pm on 8 October 2014

No link has been proven between any particular vegetable crop and a severe stomach bug which has led to the hospitalisation of almost 40 people, a grower group says.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said yesterday the source of the bacteria causing the illness, yersinia pseudotuberculosis, was yet to be confirmed but was likely to be food.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphreys said the advice was to throw out aany old lettuces or carrots sitting in the fridge, particularly pre-bagged vegetables.

"I wouldn't stop buying carrots because I like carrots but I would make sure that if I had any old bags of them I would throw them away," he said.

However Vegetables New Zealand business manager John Seymour said no-one knows the actual cause or source.

"While the health board have confirmed that they've had cases every year, in any of those cases in the past there still hasn't been any direct link to any particular vegetable crop."

Mr Seymour said all registered growers had been notified about the issue, and are waiting for further updates from the Ministry of Primary Industries.

no caption