The EU health commissioner has criticised Germany over the premature release of inaccurate information on the source of the deadly E.coli outbreak.
Speaking ahead of emergency talks between agriculture ministers, John Dalli urged authorities to avoid making "premature conclusions" as "it spreads unjustifiable fears".
He told the EU Parliament in Strasbourg any such public information must be scientifically sound and full-proof before it becomes public.
His warning comes after Spain's cucumbers were wrongly blamed for the outbreak, then bean sprouts from a farm in Germany.
Mr Dalli also said EU-wide measures against any product would be "disproportionate".
"I am very concerned about the heavy burden of debts and disease that this foodborne bacteria has caused to the European population," he said.
"I stress that the outbreak is limited geographically to the area surrounding the city of Hamburg, so there is no reason to take action on a European level."
Mr Dalli said the commission was holding daily meetings to analyse the situation and insisted that the EU's rapid alert system had worked, although "we need to learn lessons as we go along".
A Spanish delegate also stood up at the parliament while holding a cucumber, and defended the vegetable, saying: "We need to restore the honour of the cucumber.
He then accused Germany of rushing in to blaming Spanish cucumbers and said the European Commission had not done enough after they were cleared.
"Farmers have a right to economic compensation," he said.
European farming officials are to hold emergency talks on the E.coli outbreak later today.
The summit comes as German authorities appear to be floundering on the investigation into the infection, which has killed 22 people.
Andreas Hensel, head of Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, warned: "We have to be clear on this: Maybe we won't be able anymore to identify the source."
It was believed beansprouts from a farm in the Uelzen area, between the northern cities of Hamburg and Hannover, could have been the source of infections in five German states.
But the agriculture ministry said on Monday 23 of 40 samples from the sprout farm tested negative for the strain of E. coli bacteria responsible for the outbreak.
A wider test will now be carried out on samples of older sprouts and packaging from the farm.
Meanwhile, one US expert has called the investigation a "disaster".
"This kind of wishy-washy response is incompetent," Michael Osterholm, director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University Of Minnesota, said.
He accused German authorities of casting suspicion on cucumbers and sprouts without having sufficient data.
The EU's health Commissioner defended German investigators, however, saying they were under extreme pressure as the crisis unfolded.
"We have to understand that people in certain situations do have a responsibility to inform their citizens as soon as possible of any danger that could exist to them," John Dalli said.
The World Health Organisation has said the strain is rare and has been seen in humans before, but never in this kind of outbreak.
Many of those infected have developed the disease haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a potentially deadly complication that can affect the kidneys.