The newly appointed Food Safety Minister is refusing to comment on a painful food poisoning epidemic that has swept the country, as the stomach bug's exact source remains unknown to the public.
There have been 127 confirmed cases of yersinia pseudotuberculosis and 38 people have been taken to hospital because of the bug.
Environmental and Scientific Research provided reports to the Ministry for Primary Industries last week updating the possible source of the stomach bug.
However, the ministry has refused to release the list, while supermarket giant Foodstuffs has declined to identify the farm where its two affected products came from.
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The ministry's deputy director of general regulation and assurance, Scott Gallacher, yesterday said the ESR reports were far from definitive and further investigations were needed. "It was not able to pinpoint the type of lettuce, or the product, or the brand, or anything else, nor could it actually pinpoint the distribution chain or the supermarket," he said.
After a survey involving 96 people affected by the illness, an association with lettuce had been established. The ministry was not asking consumers to avoid any food products.
The outbreak peaked in September and no new cases had been confirmed since September 30, Mr Gallacher said.
A Ministry of Health spokesman said the report was due this week.
A spokeswoman from Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew's office said the minister had nothing to add to what the Prime Minister said yesterday. John Key said the ministry was dealing with the bug as best it could.
Foodstuffs yesterday confirmed two of its products - Pam's Fresh Mesclun Salad Lettuce and Pam's Fresh Express Lettuce - were named in one of the ESR reports. They were now past their use-by dates and no longer on shelves.
John Seymour of Horticulture NZ and Vegetables NZ said consumers had been avoiding bagged lettuce and bagged carrots.