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EU bans imports of Egyptian seeds
by Staff Writers
Brussels (UPI) Jul 5, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The EU has banned imports of some Egyptian seeds and beans after fenugreek was linked to E. coli outbreaks in Germany and France, officials confirmed.

The European Food Safety Authority said a batch of fenugreek seeds has been linked to outbreaks that claimed 49 lives, the BBC reported Tuesday.

All stores of fenugreek seeds imported from one particular Egyptian company since 2009 would be destroyed, they said.

"The decision provides that imports of Egyptian seeds and beans for sprouting are suspended until 31 October," the European Commission said in a release.

EU imports from Egypt of the kinds of seeds affected by the ban totaled about 49,000 tons in 2010, the commission said.

In its report, the EFSA said a single batch of fenugreek seeds is the likely cause of both a major outbreak of highly toxic E. coli in Germany in May and a smaller outbreak in France in June.

Other shipments of fenugreek imported from Egypt between 2009 and 2011 might also be contaminated, the EFSA warned.

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