11:32pm Wednesday 26 February 2020

Do not eat raw sprouted seeds

The advice is based on a risk assessment by the European Centre of Disease Control (ECDC) in collaboration with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), from all available information from the outbreaks in France and Germany, including the tracing work performed on the suspected sprouted seeds.

The results of the risk assessment show that fenugreek is the most likely connection between the outbreaks in the two countries. Fenugreek seeds are often sold in seed mixtures. It is therefore possible that cross contamination could occur during packaging. EFSA and ECDC therefore advise consumers not to germinate seeds at home and to only eat sprouted seeds that have been cooked thoroughly, until there is a better overview of the distribution of these seeds / seed mixtures.

There are now fewer new reported cases of EHEC (enterohaemorrhagic E. coli infection) reported in Germany, and the source is sonsidered to be sprouted seeds.. French authorities are investigating a local outbreak of EHEC with the same bacterial strain that caused the outbreak in Germany. Sprouted seeds are also the suspected source of infection in the French outbreak.

There are no reports of new cases of illness related to these outbreaks in Norway.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has mapped the import into Norway of seeds which are the suspected source of infection. For more information and advice see the Food Safety Authority’s website.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health are advising people who have bought seeds for personal consumption to delay germination until further notice.


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