Food Safety Authority: Lab tests for oranges suspected as cause of Arges County gastrointestinal illness outbreak

The samples taken from oranges sold by an Arges County store chain, which are suspected to have triggered the gastrointestinal infection in the roughly more than two dozen children who are currently receiving treatment at Bucharest hospitals and another two health facilities in Pitesti will be sent to the National Reference Laboratory in Bucharest, and he results will be available on Tuesday at the latest, president of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) Andrei Butaru declared on Saturday in a telephone call at the Realitatea TV channel.

Butaru said that ANSVSA moved ex officio in the case.

“We took ex officio action following suspicions about the fruit and decided to take orange samples. If other leads arise during the investigation, we will analyze other suspect foods as well, but only oranges have come in the crosshairs for the time being,” Butaru explained.

The ANSVSA president added that the investigation is coordinated by the Health Ministry and the Arges County Public Health Directorate.

15 children aged between five months and three years suffering from gastrointestinal illness were transferred to Bucharest hospitals from Arges County health care facilities; 12 were admitted to the “Marie Curie” Children’s Emergency Hospital and three to the “Matei Bals” Infectious Diseases Institute.

The Ministry of Health said an epidemiological investigation is underway and the results would be announced within short.

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