FSA News Item, 25 June 2011
Following further cases of E. coli in France, the Food Standards Agency is revising its guidance on the consumption of sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, mung beans (usually known as beansprouts) and fenugreek.
As a precaution, the Agency is advising that sprouted seeds should only be eaten if they have been cooked thoroughly until steaming hot throughout; they should not be eaten raw.
The investigations into the outbreak of E. coli in France have suggested a possible link to sprouting seeds from a company based in the UK. To date, no cases of food poisoning have been reported in the UK linked to the outbreak in France. We are in close contact with the Health Protection Agency which is actively monitoring the situation.
The Agency also advises that equipment that has been used for sprouting seeds should be cleaned thoroughly after use. You should always wash your hands after handling seeds intended for planting or sprouting.