Salmonella control still political issue

by 5m Editor
11 October 2005, at 12:00am

UK - Egg producers are likely to face growing demands to control different types of salmonella in their flocks.

Salmonella control still political issue - UK - Egg producers are likely to face growing demands to control different types of salmonella in their flocks.

"There is increasing political pressure from the EU for better control over five types of salmonella, including Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium. In the UK, some major supermarkets, if not actually applying pressure are, shall we say, 'encouraging' vaccination by their suppliers against both S Enteritidis and S Typhimurium," Matthias Mangels, Lohmann Animal Health's head of European vaccine sales, told a meeting of major egg producers in Shropshire.

"There are different views on this. Some egg producers point out that ST vaccination is not strictly necessary, since typhimurium has not generally been a problem among layers. In this country it has been more of a concern for broiler producers. But a number of supermarkets want to be able to claim that the eggs on their shelves are protected against the major forms of salmonella associated with food poisoning."

The UK had made a remarkable recovery from the last salmonella-in-eggs scare, which saw consumption plummet. The BEIC's Lion Code is at the forefront of world-wide standards in this respect and had played a major role in this recovery. The Code is aimed at reassuring both retailers and consumers about the safety of eggs.

"But producers, too, have been proactive in raising standards," said Mr Mangels. He pointed out that 90 per cent of egg producers using Lohmann's enteritidis vaccine were already using their typhimurium vaccine.

He suggested that producers should make efforts to get constructive messages over to the public.

"One of the problems with salmonella is that the general media tends to focus on the negative side. So I think it is important for the industry to ensure that the consumer gets a more positive message about the high standards under which UK eggs are produced and what a good, wholesome product they are," he said.

Source: Lohmann Animal Health - 11th October 2005

5m Editor