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Detection of Brown Rot in water samples taken at Merchant's premises

As part of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's ongoing testing survey for potato brown rot disease, the Department has recently detected brown rot in water samples taken at two potato merchants' premises.

Brown Rot is caused by the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum and results in yield losses in host plants and rotting of tubers. The disease poses no risk to human or animal health.

The Brown Rot annual water survey involves the taking of samples of wastewater at merchants' premises and this has resulted in two positive findings recently being reported.

All samples taken from potato stocks on the premises involved have been tested and proved negative. This would indicate that infected material had passed through the premises in the recent past. The premises themselves have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as required by the Department and upgrading of their water treatment systems is being put in place.

The management of the disease is governed by EU legislation, which is being strictly followed by the Department in this case. The Department is working closely with the potato industry to ensure that all appropriate action is being taken to control the situation.

Investigations are still ongoing but to date there is nothing to indicate any connection between these findings and last years' Brown Rot outbreak or other previous findings.

For further information and recommendations on Brown Rot please see the Department's website

Date Released: 24 October 2008