National governments will have to trace and destroy fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt that are believed to be the source of the recent E. coli outbreaks. The EU decided on Tuesday (5 July) to ban the import and sale of fenugreek seeds after a European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) taskforce identified a batch of the seeds as the most likely cause of the E. coli outbreaks. The EU imported 49,000 tonnes of this type of seed in 2010, with an estimated value of €56 million. Imports of Egyptian seeds and beans for sprouting have now been banned until 31 October. Bean sprouts The EFSA investigated outbreaks of shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) in Germany and France. The outbreak in Germany, which was traced to bean sprouts from an organic farm near Hamburg, has killed 49 people. The task force also investigated incidences of sickness near Bordeaux.