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Risk from Raw Shell Eggs Reduced

July 27, 2016

The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) Ad hoc Group on Eggs have concluded in their latest report that there has been a ‘major reduction in the microbiological risk from Salmonella in UK hen shell eggs since 2001.’

Chaired by consultant microbiologist Professor John Coia, the committee, which was set up in the wake of the salmonella in eggs scandal in 1990, recommends that UK hen eggs produced under the Lion Code or equivalent can now be served raw or lightly cooked to all groups. Whilst there has been considerable progress in respect of hen eggs, the recommendation however does not apply to eggs from other species, including ducks and quail. The committee also stress that proper storage conditions, the observance of best before dates and measures to prevent cross contamination in a kitchen environment are still relevant to ensure the safety of products.

Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, told the Grocer website; “This is a great success story for British agriculture. The investment we have made in eliminating salmonella and the safety record of British eggs means we have been confident for some time that even vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, babies and elderly people should be able to consume them when runny.”

Enhanced quality assurance schemes, vaccinations, better storage during transport and improved farm hygiene are all thought to have played a part in the virtual eradication of salmonella in Lion Code eggs.

You can view the full ACMSF Report HERE.