Food Law News - EU - 2011

Commission Midday Express, 15 September 2011

FOOD SAFETY - Food imports from Egypt: ban on leguminous vegetables soon to be lifted

Fresh or chilled leguminous vegetables, such as green beans and podded peas, may soon be re-imported to the European Union from Egypt, after Member States endorsed today a Commission proposal on the issue. However, there is no change concerning the temporary ban on imports of sprouts of such vegetables – they may not be imported to the EU.

Imports of leguminous vegetables from Egypt, along with imports of certain types of seeds, have been banned since early July ( Decision 2011/402/EU) after a link was established between Egyptian Fenugreek seeds and the E. coli outbreaks (O104 strain) in northern Germany and Bordeaux, France.

The Commission decided to propose, during today's meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), the removal of fresh leguminous vegetables from the list of banned products. The endorsed Commission proposal also provides for some clarifications on the measures concerning mustard seeds for sowing and other mustard seeds. This decision follows a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in Egypt, which revealed no shortcomings in the production sites of leguminous vegetables. The FVO is expected to finalise its mission report at the end of October.

The measures on imports of the affected Egyptian products will remain in force until October 31 at which point they will be reviewed.

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