Health and agricultural officials in Spain criticized German authorities for creating mass hysteria over a suspected E. coli outbreak, despite the death toll in Germany from suspected cases having risen to 10 by Sunday.
"Germany has been very irresponsible in pointing the finger at a country's entire industry without any proof," said Andrés Góngora, Almería provincial secretary of the farm and ranch umbrella organization COAG.
Austria revealed that it has also recalled Spanish cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplants from all supermarkets.
More than 300 people have fallen ill in Germany from hemolytic-remic syndrome (HUS), which affects the blood and kidneys. German officials said they traced the outbreak to Spanish cucumbers carrying the E. coli bacteria and have warned people not to eat the vegetables.
Roberto Sabrido, director of the Spanish Food and Nutrition Safety Agency, said the cucumbers may have been infected in the handling process. "We still don't have positive evidence from the German authorities on what type of strain is causing the infections, and without that we cannot conclude our analysis."