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EU report confirms UK eggs are among the safest in Europe
15/06/06

Consumers can be confident when they buy British eggs because they are among the best in Europe, according to a new report, says the NFU.

eggs

The European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) tested for salmonella on chicken farms (not in hens or eggs). Between October 2004 and September 2005 it found almost 90 per cent of UK holdings were completely free of salmonella and this small number of positive samples puts the UK among the best in Europe.

The report confirms recent findings by the UK Food Standards Agency which found no salmonella in the 28,000 British eggs it tested.

In addition, the UK has the most stringent system in the world for ensuring the highest food safety standards for eggs. Approximately 85 per cent of UK eggs are produced under the British Lion Quality scheme, introduced in 1998. UK egg producers have invested more than £36 million in the scheme, which stipulates vaccination of hens against salmonella in addition to a range of other food safety measures. Vaccination protects both hens and eggs against salmonella and, in the preliminary analysis of the UK results within the EU survey, vaccination was also shown to reduce the prevalence of salmonella on holdings.

The survey is part of an EU Directive which is seeking to reduce the levels of salmonella in each EU member state. UK producers routinely vaccinate against salmonella and the results of the survey are testament to the investment made by all UK egg producers.

Vice chairman of the NFU Poultry Board (Eggs) Duncan Priestner said: “This is a positive move for all egg producers in the UK.

“Consumers can feel confident when they purchase eggs produced in Britain they are buying eggs that have been laid under stringent systems which ensure the highest food safety standards.

“Retailers supply eggs produced to the Lion standard but until other European standards match our own I would urge food processors to source British eggs.”

link Poultry sales remain strong

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