Fruit and veg imports behind rise in food poisoning

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.

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.