Russias food safety watchdog has lifted its ban on fresh produce from the EU

Russia's food safety watchdog has lifted its ban on fresh produce from the EU

Russia has agreed to lift bans on fresh produce from the European Union following an outbreak of E. coli.

The country's food safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said today (22 June) that the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables would be resumed under the "unconditional implementation of the agreements reached in the talks" between the EU and Russia on 10 June.

Russia has sought the provision of guarantees of the safety of European fruit and vegetables, with food to receive a certificate of safety, based on laboratory studies showing the absence of E. coli.

It said the special treatment of EU vegetables will become effective after it receives a list of competent authorities and accredited laboratories from EU member countries which can find the presence E. coli.

This special treatment will continue until the spread of E. coli ceases with no new cases recorded for a ten-day period.

Russia banned the import of fresh produce from the EU at the beginning of the month following a deadly E. coli outbreak in Germany that has killed 40 people and made thousands ill.

It agreed to lift the ban on 10 June, although a Commission spokesperson told just-food on 16 June that the ban had not been lifted "in practice".

The WHO said today that the number of reported cases of illness have "declined significantly" since they peaked on 22 May. It added that cumulative numbers of cases from Germany continue to rise, primarily owing to delays in notification.

German authorities have claimed that there is a link between bean sprouts from a farm in the state of Lower Saxony and the E. coli.