Low Risk from Runny Eggs, Report Suggests

UK - A new report by Government food safety advisors, presented on Friday, has concluded that British Lion eggs can safely be eaten runny, even by pregnant women, babies and elderly people.
calendar icon 2 February 2016
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The report recommends that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) should now consider amending its long-standing advice – that vulnerable groups should avoid raw or lightly cooked eggs - for eggs produced under the British Lion scheme or a demonstrably-equivalent comprehensive scheme.

A specialist sub-group of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) has conducted a year-long review to assess improvements in UK egg safety since the last review in 2001 and its extensive report was praised at a meeting of the full ACMSF today.

The report acknowledged the ‘significant efforts’ undertaken by the UK egg industry to reduce Salmonella enteritidis in laying flocks, which it says has made a ‘remarkable impact’ in reducing the levels of Salmonella enteritidis infections in humans.

It concluded that: "There has been a major reduction in the microbiological risk from Salmonella in UK hen shell eggs since the 2001 ACMSF report. This is especially true for those eggs produced under the Lion Code, which comprises a suite of measures including: vaccination, a cool chain from farm to retail outlets, enhanced testing for Salmonella, improved farm hygiene, better rodent control, independent auditing, date stamping on the eggs and traceability."

It considered that: "The very low risk level means that eggs produced under the Lion Code, or produced under demonstrably equivalent comprehensive schemes, can be served raw or lightly cooked to all groups in society, including those that are more vulnerable to infection, in both domestic and commercial settings, including care homes and hospitals."

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