Consumers can be confident when they buy British eggs because
they are among the best in Europe, according to a new report, says
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
“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.”
Poultry sales remain strong