PM Ciolos criticizes AgriMin: Without full evidence, he shouldn’t have publicly named company suspected as E-coli infection source


Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Friday told a press conference that the Minister of Agriculture had been hasty in announcing the name of the company suspected as the source of the E-coli outbreak in Arges County children.

Asked by the journalists during a press conference in Cluj if he contemplates dismissing Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu, Ciolos replied: “I don’t take decisions this way; I prepare any decision I take. I don’t want to comment too much on this because as far as I know, a link between the E-coli strain found in the sick children and the one found in the cheese sample from that factory still has to be proven. From the Health Minister I understand that a genetic analysis will be conducted to see if there is a direct link between the cheese and the disease cases. Mr. Minister should have probably refrained from communicating, as long as he didn’t have all the elements and anyway, what I told him is that I don’t think he should’ve been the one to make the announcement. Whereas a few weeks ago, Mr. Health Minister experienced a lack of communication which he has meanwhile remedied, Mr. Minister of Agriculture was hasty to release information which should have rather fallen under the competence of the Sanitary Veterinary Authority. Mr. Minister told me he came under pressure by the media to release the information and not keep it under wraps. And he considered that since he had the respective information, he had to make it public in order to avoid other problems that could have arisen,” Dacian Ciolos replied.

The Prime Minister advised temperance and balance from both the administration and the press, mentioning that poor communication can cause a lot of harm.

Head of the government Dacian Ciolos and Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu were on Friday on a working visit to Cluj. The two met with prefect Gheorghe Ioan Vuscan, with Cluj County Council president Marius Manzat and Cluj-Napoca mayor Emil Boc. They also visited the National Museum of Transylvanian History and the Cluj-Napoca-based National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies.


Food Safety: No direct connection between 22 February batch of cottage cheese and children’s illness


 The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety (ANSVSA) is expanding its investigation to the level of animal farms who have produced or supplied products consumed by the children diagnosed with haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), considering that the analysis of the 411 tests of the food samples given by the Ministry of Health did not find the presence of Escherichia Coli serogroup O2, which means that there is no direct cause-effect connection between the batch of cottage cheese produced on 22 February and the children’s illness, on Friday informs the ANSVSA.

“The Institute of Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health (IISPV) has received until 29 February 2016 some 337 test samples from the food indicated by the Health Ministry and notified through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. To those we add some 59 tests received until 3 March 2016 from samples taken by the joint teams DSV – DSP from water, dairy and milk used as raw material and 15 tests of samples from dairy products, tested following a request by the owner of the milk processing unit of the Arges County, within the self-control programme. So far, of the 411 samples, no presence of the Escherichia Coli serogroup O2 was found. Some 312 were finalized (of which two turned out positive) and 99 samples are still in working. The data of the ANSVSA verifications indicate that there is no direct connection of cause-effect between the cottage cheese of the batch produced on 22.02.2016 and the children’s illness diagnosed with the HUS,” a release by the ANSVSA sent on Friday to Agerpres says.

In addition, the ANSVSA says that the pasteurization process of raw milk guarantees the annihilation of bacteria with the Escherichia Coli (O 26 included), and the resulted products are good for consumption.

Notwithstanding, the ANSVSA says it will extend investigations to the level of animal farms who have produced or supplied products consumed by the children diagnosed with haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), according to data sent to the Health Ministry.