It involves arugula outbreaks, sprouts leguminous vegetables (fresh and chilled), bean sprouts, dried vegetables (peeled), fennel seeds, soybeans and mustard seeds.
After fennel seeds imported from Egypt were accused as the culprits in the contamination of the E. coli in Germany and France, the European Commission (EC) decided to extend the temporary ban on Egyptian seeds until the end of March 2012. The ban had been imposed as an emergency action in July that had to expire on October 31.
While the EC lifted restrictions on imports of fresh and chilled peas and other vegetables from Egypt, the European body decided that the temporary ban of seeds and buds of the country will be extended until the end of March following an unsatisfactory audit of Egyptian producers of seeds.
Meanwhile, the European Commission expects the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) about the risk exposed by the Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) and other pathogenic bacteria on seeds and sprouts derived from the seeds.