Egypt denies again being source of E.coli

14:47, July 07, 2011      

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Egypt's Central Administration of Agricultural Quarantine has denied again that the country's fenugreek seeds exported to Europe caused the E.coli infections which have claimed dozens of lives.

The Egyptian authorities took and analyzed fenugreek seeds samples from the warehouse of the said Egyptian exporter and all results were negative by the strain, a statement posted on the official website of Egypt's Agricultural Ministry said on Wednesday.

"E.coli strain has not been reported in Egypt and no illness cases have been found," it added.

If fenugreek seeds sprouts are suspected to be contaminated with E.coli pathogenic strain, it could be related to different handling processes, such as the re-packing or water used for sprouting, the statement said.

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday agreed to ban the import of certain types of seeds from Egypt as Egyptian fenugreek seeds were reported to be linked with the outbreak of E.coli in Europe.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published early Tuesday a report from its task force on the E.coli outbreaks in Germany and France, indicating that fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt is the most likely source of the outbreaks.

The E.coli outbreak has killed over 50 people in Europe since it was first reported in late May.

Russia's food safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has also banned the import of certain types of produce from Egypt over food safety concerns, a Russian official said on Wednesday.

Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture refuted the claims of Egypt being the source of E.coli Friday.

Source: Xinhua
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