The Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) says that reports in the Finnish media that aggressive Listeria bacteria in processed fish in Estonia may spread to Finland are unlikely, adding that the VTA would do everything it could to prevent the spread, daily Postimees reports, adding that the company affected by the Listeria outbreaks, M.V.Wool, claims it is fish imported from Finland itself which is behind the latest discovery of the bacteria.
The strain thought to be behind two deaths in Estonia last year, and several more Europe-wide, ST1247, was traced to fish processing company M.V.Wool, first emerging in the Estonian media in September.
However, this strain has not been found in Estonian this year, according to Olev Kalda, the VTA's deputy director general, although which strain is in a more recent outbreak traced to M.V.Wool earlier this month has yet to be determined.
A factory closure could well happen if ST1247 is found from analysis of the latest samples taken from M.V.Wool, which follow extensive sterilization of the plant at Harku, west of Tallinn, in mid-October, but it is not inevitable, Kalda said.
M.V.Wool in the meantime drew up an action plan which it presented to the VTA, saying the latest outbreak resulted from fish imported from Finland, with evidence for the claim being that the plant was clear of Listeria after its sterilization and the new strain only followed the imports.
Editor: Andrew Whyte