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Sprouts and seeds intended for sprouting: question and answer guidance

We are seeking views on guidance for local authorities and for food business operators that produce sprouts and seeds intended for sprouting. We have developed the guidance, which is in question and answer format, following the introduction of measures to enhance controls following the 2011 outbreak of E.coli O104:H4 in Germany and France.

Imported fenugreek seeds used for sprouting were identified as the most likely source of contamination that caused the outbreak. The measures were introduced in 2013 in the form of four Commission regulations.

About the guidance

The question and answer guidance is grouped by the four areas of legislation:

  • approval of establishments
  • microbiological criteria
  • traceability
  • imports

We welcome your views on the content and the format of guidance, which can be found at the link below. The guidance will be amended and updated online.


Comments are required by Wednesday 30 September 2015.


Please email your comments to

Read the guidance

Question and answer guidance for food business operators and local authorities



Publication of response summary

Within three months of a consultation ending we aim to publish a summary of responses received and provide a link to it from this page.

You can find information on how we handle data provided in response to consultations in our Consultations privacy notice.

Further information

This consultation has been prepared in accordance with HM Government Consultation Principles. If an Impact Assessment has been produced, this is included in the consultation documents. If no Impact Assessment has been provided, the reason will be given in the consultation document.