Food Law News - EU - 2011

FSA News Item, 11 October 2011

FOOD SAFETY - Update on E.coli O104 outbreaks

The 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. [See 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.

FSA Letter (IFD/E/11/017), 7 October 2011


This letter is addressed to Chief Port Health Officers and Nominated Officers for Imported Food in England.

I am writing to inform you that the Commission published Decision 2011/662/EU on 7 October 2011. This Decision amends Decision 2011/402/EU on emergency measures applicable to fenugreek seeds and certain seeds and beans imported from Egypt to the EU.

Decision 2011/662/EU comes into force on 7 October 2011 and a link to the Decision follows:

The prohibition on imports in this Decision has been implemented by means of Declaration OFFC REG/2011/E/007 issued under regulation 35 of the Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations 2009. A copy of the declaration is attached to the email accompanying this letter as a pdf document.

The Annex to this Decision replaces the Annex to Implementing Decision 2011/402/EU. The entries for fresh or chilled leguminous vegetables and mustard seeds have been amended as set out in paragraphs (5) and (6) of the pre-amble to Decision 2011/662/EU.

The updated list of seeds and beans in the Annex to the Decision has been reproduced below:

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