European Union introduces new sprout production rules
The European Union has responded to last year's E. coli outbreak with four new pieces of regulation for sprout production, including compliance checks, tightening traceability requirements for seeds, pathogen testing and certification for seed imports.
The European Sprouted Seeds Association (ESSA) welcomed the adoption of the new E.U. rules that will apply from March next year, with the exception of import certificate rules that will have a transition period until Jul. 1, 2013.
ESSA interim-president Cynthia Andersson applauded the approach of the E.U., national governments and sprouted seed growers who worked to improve the food safety practices of this specialized area during consultations.
"The pro-active involvement of growers across Europe has helped to achieve a feasible and harmonised approach regarding sprout production rules," she said.
"This involvement has ultimately led to the establishment of the European Sprouted Seeds Association, which provides a platform for growers to discuss issues of common concern, beyond just food safety."
Photo: Fotolia, Sriharun