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UK: Update on E.coli O104 outbreaks

11/10/11  www.food.gov.uk

e-coliThe European Commission has amended the list of certain seeds, sprouted seeds, and beans prohibited from import to the European Union from Egypt.

In July the European Commission announced an emergency ban on the import of fenugreek and certain seeds, sprouted seeds and beans imported from Egypt until 31 October 2011, following the two outbreaks of E.coli O104 in Germany and France.

Fresh and chilled peas and beans have now been taken off the list. The European Commission reassessed the risk from these products following an audit by officials of production sites in Egypt.

The Food Standards Agency has written to port health officials to inform them of these changes. A link to the letter and revised list of affected products can be found at the second link below.

The temporary ban was introduced following the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) report into the possible source of the outbreaks in Germany and France, which made more than 3000 people ill. The EFSA report concluded that a batch of fenugreek seeds originally supplied from a company in Egypt to a distributor in Germany is the most likely link between the two outbreaks.

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