EU to lift ban on Egyptian vegetable imports
Brussels, September 15, 2011
Egyptian exports to Europe of some fresh vegetables including green beans and peas are set to resume soon, after EU states voted on Thursday to partially lift an import ban imposed in the wake of a deadly E. coli outbreak.
But the 27-nation bloc's ban on imports of seeds and sprouts from Egypt will remain in place until at least Oct. 31, when it will be reviewed, the European Commission said in a statement.
"This decision follows a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in Egypt, which revealed no shortcomings in the production sites of leguminous vegetables," the statement said.
The European Union banned imports of some Egyptian beans and seeds for sprouting in July, after a batch of fenugreek seeds from the country was cited as the most likely cause of E. coli outbreaks which caused 46 confirmed deaths in Europe.
More than 4,100 people in Europe and North America fell ill during two outbreaks of E. coli infection -- one very large one centred in northern Germany and a smaller cluster focused on the French city of Bordeaux. – Reuters