ISRAEL has banned imports of Spanish eggs over a suspected salmonela scare – although no cases have been reported in Spain itself.
According to the Israeli online newspaper Ynet, the country's ministry of health and agriculture has warned the public to thoroughly cook any eggs bearing the identity mark 'ES' – hard-boiled only, not fried, boiled or poached.
In the meantime, no eggs from Spain are being allowed into the Middle Eastern Mediterranean country.
As yet, the ministry admits no concrete proof of salmonela bacteria being contained in eggs from Spain has been found, but additional tests are under way to verify this.
Israel also says it recently found the bacteria in eggs imported from Ukraine.
No reports in Spain have been received of salmonela or any other food poisoning from eggs sold in the country, and these are a staple ingredient of most household diets, being consumed almost daily by Spanish families.
Spanish authorities say, as an aside, that a number code on the eggs tells the consumer whether they are organic (0), free-range by hens living in the open countryside (1), free-range but in farm enclosures (2), or from battery hens (3).
Nearly four years ago, a scare which centred on Spanish cucumbers led to huge losses in the nation's vegetable-farming industry, and which turned out to be a false alarm.
An outbreak of E.Coli in Germany was erroneously traced to cucumbers imported from Spain in 2012.
Until the issue was cleared up, cucumbers were selling for as little as eight cents each in supermarkets, and exports plummeted.
No case of E.Coli was ever diagnosed in Spain during the cucumber saga.