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E.coli controls eased as fresh Egyptian produce cleared for EU import

By Ben Bouckley , 12-Oct-2011
Last updated on 19-Oct-2011 at 13:31 GMT

The European Commission (EC) has removed certain fresh produce - including chilled peas and beans - from the list of Egyptian products that it has been illegal to import since July.

Following an EC audit of production sites in Egypt, the EC has now removed "fresh or luguminous vegetables other than sprouts" from its list products forbidden for import to the European Union.

An emergency ban on the import of fresh fenugreek and certain seeds, sprouted seeds and beans from Egypt is now scheduled to last until October 31, 2011.

The ban followed two deadly outbreaks of E.coli O104:H4 in Germany and France this spring , which killed over 60 people and sickened more than 3,000.

A European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report into the source of the outbreaks concluded that the most likely link between the German and French outbreaks was a contaminated batch of fenugreek seeds from Egypt, which led to the temporary ban.

The revised list of products forbidden for import is available here via the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA).

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