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Government Looks to Put Runny Eggs Back On the Menu

February 3, 2016

A new report by the governments Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), has said that eggs carrying the British Lion stamp now pose a very low risk of salmonella. Better hygiene and improved storage measures are thought to be behind the improvement.

Vulnerable individuals, including pregnant women, have previously been advised to avoid eating lightly cooked eggs, following links with salmonella poisoning that originated from studies carried out in 1989. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is now conducting a consultation on whether to update their current guidance as a result of the report which is the first on the subject in 15 years.

An FSA spokeswoman said: “The committee has acknowledged that there has been a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs since 2001. This is especially the case for eggs produced under the Lion brand scheme or equivalent schemes. We will await the results of the 12-week consultation on their draft report and then the FSA will consider whether to amend its advice.”

Eggs carrying the British Lion code make up 90% of the market and warnings on consuming imported eggs and those not produced under the code will remain in place. The so called salmonella crisis occurred in 1988 when then junior health minister Edwina Currie claimed most British eggs were infected with the bacteria. Her remarks led to her resignation shortly afterwards.