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NFU Says Parliament Egg Ban 'Ludicrous'

23 August 2013
National Farmers Union

UK - The chairman of the national NFU poultry board has described a decision to ban fresh eggs in omelettes and scrambled eggs at the Houses of Parliament, due to the risk of contracting salmonella, as 'absolutely ludicrous'.

Cheshire egg producer Duncan Priestner said that British eggs are among the safest in the world.

Under a National Control Programme implemented in January 2009 it is a legal requirement that all UK farms with more than 350 laying hens test their flocks for salmonella. And the most recent NCP results show UK levels are extremely low, at 0.25 per cent, for Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium.

Mr Priestner said: "This is all very frustrating. MPs have been very supportive of our Buy British campaign and the more recent Back British Farming campaign.

"There is also a groundswell of support from British consumers wishing to support British agriculture and parliament, in 'allowing' this action by their caterers, is bucking this trend."

He added: "The NHS endorses eggs as 'a good choice as part of a healthy, balanced diet. As well as being a source of protein, they also contain vitamins and minerals. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B2 and iodine. In addition they are low in sugar and unlike most other foods there is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat.

"We will work with the committee responsible for catering in the House of Commons to reverse this decision – this work will be helped tremendously if members can raise the strength of feeling on this matter with their MPs at their earliest opportunity.

"As the Food Standards Agency has clarified that the ban is unnecessary, we would hope that MPs will be able to enjoy fresh British eggs again in the near future. In addition we would ask consumers to look out for your local egg producer to ensure you are buying highest quality fresh eggs."

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