Business as usual at vegetable stalls at Norwich market - despite E. coli outbreak

Business as usual at vegetable stalls at Norwich market - despite E. coli outbreak

It is business as usual at vegetable stalls in Norwich market – despite the European E.coli scare.

The food poisoning outbreak in Germany has killed 22 people and left more than 2,000 ill, but officials still don't know how the bug contaminated food supplies.

Suspicion for the cause of the outbreak had initially fallen on contaminated Spanish cucumbers, and then on bean sprouts.

However, stallholders selling vegetables including cucumbers at Norwich market yesterday seemed to be doing a roaring trade.

Debs Read, from Mike, Debs and Sons' fresh fruit and vegetables, buys her produce from local farms, which means salad and vegetables come from Poringland, cucumbers and tomatoes from Swardeston, and strawberries from Hempnall.

She said: 'We've been OK. We had Spanish cucumbers earlier in the year, but they are now grown in the UK, so we get them in locally.

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'We have not really been affected by the scare. Once people know where the vegetables come from, they are fine.'

One of her customers, Andrew Inch, who lives in Marseilles but was visiting his daughter in the Norwich area, was quite happy buying fruit and vegetables from her stall.

He said: 'I'm the type of person that tries not to panic, but it's unfortunate that there's going to be so much waste of vegetables abroad because of the scare.'

Another customer, Edward Basham, from Mulbarton, said he was not worried about buying vegetables from traders he knew.

'If you know the people selling you the food and you trust them, they're fine and I'm not worried. I know the source of these vegetables and I trust them, so there's no problem.'

However, he admitted he would think twice about buying vegetables from somewhere he was unfamiliar with.

Jason Wilson, who owns CJs fruit and veg on the market, said his stock was also locally sourced, and added that trade was 'going like a train'.

'I just had one person who mentioned it and asked whether he was going to die after eating vegetables, but we made a joke of it,' he said.

Do you know anyone affected by the outbreak? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email