Scientific Opinion on the risk posed by STEC and other pathogenic bacteria in seeds and sprouted seeds

By 20. January 2012Blog, Risk Management

Following the E.coli outbreak in Germany last year, the Panel on Biological Hazards were asked by the European Commission to issue scientific opinion on the public health risk of seed and sprouting seed that can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria such as Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC).

The main findings were that the seed can be contaminated throughout the production line. Contaminated irrigation water/manure, presence of birds/rodents in storage areas and contamination from dust or soil were highlighted as the most relevant risk factors. Wide spread distributions of seed lots and inadequate traceability also add to the problem.

The full report is available from the EFSA wesbite.