Caterers Should be Warned about Foreign Eggs

UK - Producers have called on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to advice caterers better to minimise the risk of Salmonella from eggs.
calendar icon 2 December 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

British Lion egg producers have criticised the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for failing to give clear advice to caterers about using safe eggs. This follows recent outbreaks of Salmonella poisoning cases linked to Spanish eggs.

It has asked the FSA to urgently review its advice to caterers to highlight the higher safety profile of eggs from flocks vaccinated against salmonella.

More than 85 per cent of UK-produced eggs are produced under the British Lion scheme, which requires vaccination of hens against salmonella along with a range of other food safety measures.

Andrew Parker, Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: "All major UK retailers specify British Lion eggs and we believe it is time that caterers took similar responsibility for buying eggs with an impeccable safety profile,” says .

Several outbreaks of Salmonella have taken place in England since August involving a strain of salmonella, S. Enteritidis PT 14b NxCpl, which has not been found in egg-laying flocks in Great Britain.

Since the introduction of the British Lion scheme in 1998, salmonella has been effectively eliminated from British eggs. This has been confirmed by a number of independent surveys. A report from the Advisory Committee for the Microbiological Safety of Food in 2001 acknowledged the success of the British Lion vaccination programme in tackling salmonella in eggs and in 2004 the Food Standards Agency found no salmonella inside 28,000 UK-produced eggs tested. In 2006, the status of UK egg production as among the safest in the world was confirmed by an EU Salmonella Zoonoses survey.

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