Germany extends fenugreek recall to herbal drugs
Jul 8, 2011, 12:55 GMT
Bonn, Germany - A European ban on products containing Egyptian fenugreek was extended in Germany Friday to herbal drugs after health authorities said the fenugreek had spread E coli.
So far 50 people have died from a virulent E coli strain that is still prevalent in Germany. Investigators say it entered Germany in fenugreek seeds which were then grown and eaten as sprouts.
Some German herbalists prescribe ground-up fenugreek seeds as a remedy for ulcers and other digestive problems.
The Federal Drugs Institute BfArMb in Bonn ordered specific production lots of the powder to be recalled because they contained fenugreek imported from Egypt between 2009 and 2011. It said there was a possibility they had been contaminated by the E coli.
BfArMb said it was acting on an order issued Tuesday by the European Union, banning the import of seeds and beans from Egypt until October.
German authorities were testing hundreds of people Friday for E coli after the bacteria appeared to have spread through an infected kitchen worker to people who had consumed canteen food.
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