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Buy British eggs to avoid salmonella risk

by 5m Editor
18 November 2006, at 10:26am

UK - Buy British – this is the clear message from the NFU after the Food Standards Agency revealed one in 30 boxes of eggs imported into the UK were contaminated with salmonella.

In 1,744 six-egg boxes tested by the FSA between March 2005 and July 2006, 157 packs had salmonella found on the shell and 10 packs had the bacteria inside the egg.

In comparison a similar survey in 2004 tested 28,000 UK eggs and found no salmonella inside, with only nine having traces on the shell. NFU poultry board vice chairman, with responsibility for eggs, Duncan Priestner said: “These results show how important it is to buy UK eggs carrying the Lion Quality stamp or UK country of origin.

“UK egg producers have spent more than £50m investing in the Lion Quality scheme which shows that hens have been vaccinated against salmonella – effectively eliminating any risk - making ours the safest in the world.”

A recent investigation by Defra into incorrect labelling of eggs at collection and supply, including mislabelling battery eggs as free-range, is also fully supported by the NFU.

Mr Priestner said: “This investigation together with today’s report demonstrates just how important it is to have a water-tight labelling system in place in the UK. Strictly enforced labelling is vital in enabling customers to make informed choices - and in the case of imported eggs – reduce potential risks. With around 85 per cent of our egg producers covered by the Lion Quality scheme buying a British egg has never been safer.”

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor