30 Sick in Kosovo salmonella outbreak

PRISTINA, Aug 10, 2000 -- (AFP) Thirty people fell ill with salmonella, two of them seriously, apparently after eating ice cream in a Kosovo cafe, UN spokeswoman Susan Manuel said Wednesday.

"Thirty people were hospitalized. Two of those affected are in a life-threatening condition," she told a press conference in Pristina.

The cafe at the center of the outbreak, Spresso Capuccino in Urosevac, 22 miles (36 kilometers) south of Pristina, has been closed down while an investigation is carried out, UN police told AFP.

Since the end of Kosovo's civil war and the arrival of United Nations administration in July last year new cafes and restaurants have sprung up almost daily in the province's major towns.

"One could almost say that a kind of cafe society has developed," said the chief of Britain's armed forces, General Sir Charles Guthrie, on a tour of the capital last week to see how life is returning to normal.

But the UN government, struggling to set up administrative, judicial and security structures in the wartorn province, has passed no health regulations and frequent power cuts and water shortages make it more difficult to maintain standards of hygiene.

Salmonella is a food-borne bacteria. The infection it causes can be fatal.

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