Consumers should be warned of the safety risks posed by sprouted seeds, the European Food Safety Authority has concluded.

The advice was given in a risk assessment requested by the European Commission and undertaken by EFSA following the outbreak of E.coli in sprouted seeds in Germany earlier this year.

EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) concluded that sprouted seeds posed specific microbial safety concerns.

Preventing initial contamination during production, storage and distribution of seeds was of foremost importance, BIOHAZ said, urging growers, suppliers and retailers to take additional food safety and mitigation measures.

It also called on suppliers to flag the risk on pack. “Stakeholders and consumers should be informed of the risk posed by sprouted seeds,” EFSA said.