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Parliament Egg Ban Reversed; Reversal Welcomed

02 September 2013

UK - The Clerk of the House of Commons has reversed a decision which briefly saw fresh eggs in omelettes and scrambled eggs banned due to salmonella fears.

Sir Robert Rogers, Clerk of the House of the Commons, has directed an immediate change of policy regarding the use of liquid pasteurised eggs in House of Commons Catering outlets. From 2 September 2013, fresh Lion Brand stamped British eggs will be used to prepare omelettes and scrambled eggs in 'to order’ outlets. For large-scale production of egg-based dishes, liquid pasteurised egg will continue to be used in line with industry best practice. This pasteurised egg will now be sourced from British producers. The House of Commons Catering Service has a five-star food safety rating and this change of policy remains consistent with these very high standards.

Dr Lisa Ackerley, visiting Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Salford and Managing Director of Hygiene Audit Systems, said: “Salmonella poisoning in the UK has decreased dramatically in recent years, thanks to the vaccination programme for British eggs, together with good industry practice of using pasteurised eggs for lightly cooked dishes. By adopting this approach, the Catering Services can continue to offer a high level of service, whilst reducing risks to its customers.”

National Farmer's Union Comment

Sir Robert Rogers said fresh Lion Brand stamped British eggs would be used once again from Monday.

A press release announcing the U-turn included comments from expert Dr Lisa Ackerley. She said: "Salmonella poisoning in the UK has decreased dramatically in recent years, thanks to the vaccination programme for British eggs, together with good industry practice."

National NFU poultry board chairman, Duncan Priestner, said that ‘common sense’ had prevailed.

He added: "The leadership shown by the Clerk of the House of Commons and politicians alike is appreciated.

"In addition, we welcome the comments from Dr Lisa Ackerley and this is vindication that British eggs are recognised as among the safest in the world."

He said the "ludicrous situation should never have come about".

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.

Egg Industry Welcomes Egg Ban Reversal

The British Egg Industry Council has welcomed the reversal of the House of Commons ban on the use of fresh eggs.

BEIC Chairman, Andrew Joret, said: “This is a victory for common sense. We said at the time that the ban on fresh eggs was without foundation and absolutely ridiculous and we are grateful that Sir Robert Rogers has recognised that. It’s also great news that the House of Commons will be sourcing British egg products rather than importing from Holland.

"We’re very pleased that MPs will now be able to enjoy scrambled eggs, safe in the knowledge that they are produced in accordance to the world-leading food safety standards of the British Lion mark." 

Further Reading

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