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Tons of cucumbers discarded over E. coli fears

Bogdan Cristel / Reuters

Workers throw away cucumbers to be destroyed at an agriculture facility near Bucharest on Monday, June 6, as sales collapsed in Romania's markets due to the fear of E. coli contamination. The workers from this facility are destroying about 1500 tons of harvested cucumbers from the last three days, despite negative E. coli laboratory tests. The outbreak, centred on the north German city of Hamburg, has made more than 1,500 people ill in eight European countries, and led to an international row over the source of the contamination.

Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Cucumbers are spread on a field to be used as fertilizer by French farmers who are unable to sell their produce in Carquefou near Nantes, western France, on Monday. Authorities in Germany have yet to pinpoint the exact source of the three-week outbreak that has killed 22 people in Europe and stricken more than 2,200 in a dozen countries -- all of whom had been travelling in northern Germany. So far, bean sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce have all been suspected of spreading the EHEC bacteria (enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli) bacteria.

Robert Ghement / EPA

A Romanian farm boy throws another case of cucumbers onto a huge pile waiting to be taken away as waste at an agriculture facility in Popesti Leordeni, near Bucharest, Romania, on Monday. Romanian vegetable producers are suffering from loss of sales as a consequence of the EHEC bacteria. Today the workers from Leordeni faility were throwing the last three days' fresh cucumbers production, amounting to 1,500 tons, despite the E. coli lab analyses showing negative. The E. coli outbreak centered in northern Germany has spread to 11 other countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Romanian farmers are asking the government to find a way of compensating them due to the losses caused by E coli hysteria.

Jacques Brinon / AP

A farm worker empties cucumbers into a container, before dispersing them in a field, after failing to sell them due an ongoing food crisis in Europe, in Carquefou, western France, on Monday. The current crisis is the deadliest E. coli outbreak in modern history, and the outbreak is being blamed on a highly aggressive, "super-toxic" strain of E. coli.

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