CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's agriculture minister says reports blaming Egyptian sprout seeds for a deadly E. coli outbreak in Europe are "baseless" and that tests show the seeds were not contaminated.
The European Food Safety Authority has said one lot of fenugreek seeds from Egypt was probably the source of the recent food poisoning outbreaks in Germany and France. The EU has banned imports of Egyptian fenugreek seeds until Oct. 31 and directed its members destroy all seeds from "one Egyptian exporter" received between 2009 and 2011.
However, Egyptian Agriculture Minister Ayman Abou Hadid said Wednesday that lab tests of the seeds produced by that exporter showed the E. coli strain was not present. Officials have not released the name of the exporter.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)