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HYGIENE

Fruit and veg imports behind rise in food poisoning

An increasing number of Swedes suffer food poisoning after eating imported fruit and vegetables. The National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) reveals that waste water used to grow the produce is to blame.

Fruit and veg imports behind rise in food poisoning

Since the middle of the 1990’s the number of Swedes suffering food poisoning has increased threefold. Over the same period imports of fruit and vegetables have increased by 60 percent, according to a report in Sydsvenska Dagbladet.

The administration has urged both producers and importers of fruit and vegetables to demand higher standards for the quality of the water used to water the produce.

The most risky produce from a food hygiene perspective are frozen raspberries, followed by sprouts and leaf vegetables, Sydsvenskan reports.

New culinary trends in Sweden have also contributed to the increase in cases of food poisoning with, for example, mint and banana leaves becoming a a common feature when serving food.

Despite the increase in cases of food poisoning the National Food Administration was quick to underline the importance of consuming sufficient quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Roland Lindqvist, a microbiologist at the authority pointed out to the newspaper that simply by washing the produce thoroughly prior to cooking or eating would remove at least 90 percent of any existing bacteria.

HYGIENE

Dirty school toilets make Swedish kids sick: docs

Poorly cleaned toilets are to blame for increasing numbers of Swedish schoolchildren seeking medical treatment, paediatricians have warned, amid a rising number of complaints about the cleanliness of schools in Sweden.

Dirty school toilets make Swedish kids sick: docs

“Unfortunately, it’s quite common,” paediatrician Cecilia Chrapkowska at Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital told Sweden’s TV4 news.

She explained that many children seek treatment for stomach pains and vomiting because they refuse to use dirty school toilets.

“Those who suffer most are children who wet themselves, which can be a consequence of trying to hold it in all day,” she said.

Several paediatricians told TV4 that every third visit they receive is from a child with stomach or urinary tract problems.

Since 2007, the number of annual complaints about conditions in Swedish schools filed with the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) has nearly doubled.

In 2007, the agency received 51 reports, while 91 reports were filed in 2012. So far this year, 71 complaints have been registered.

“A dirty toilet may result in children trying to hold it in all day and that can lead to medical problems,” the agency’s Fredrika Brickman told TV4.

In August, the agency launched a programme to carry out detailed reviews at 30 percent of the countries schools by 2016. Among other things, the reviews will look at stress, violence, as well as cleanliness.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s fundamental human right to be able to go to the toilet,” said paediatrician Chrapkowska.

TT/The Local/dl

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