Experts eye imported eggs as source of Salmonella outbreak in England

eggsmixed_blogA recent outbreak of Salmonella in England has led authorities to issue warnings concerning the use of imported eggs.

Reports have identified the strain of Salmonella responsible for outbreak as Salmonella enteritidis PT14b, a strain of particular concern to the egg industry. The strain has not been found in eggs in the United Kingdom (UK), and has previously been linked to Salmonella outbreaks in the UK from imported eggs, according to reports.

The outbreak has been linked to more than 150 illnesses and three deaths, according to BigHospitality.

The article in BigHospitality quotes Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, as questioning why consumers in the UK continue to face the risk imported eggs pose.

“It is unbelievable that British consumers are still being put at risk by imported eggs,” he states in the article. “The British egg industry, through the Lion mark, have invested heavily in ensuring that the eggs we sell to consumers are safe, yet we are constantly undermined by eggs that come into the country which are not fit to eat.”

As reported by World Poultry, genetic testing methods revealed that all of the cases are infected with closely related strains, indicating that the cause of the illness is from a single source.

The Bristish Egg Council is recommending that caterers and consumers use only eggs that carry the British Lion mark. According to the Council, “the British Lion Quality Code of Practice was launched in 1998 and includes compulsory vaccination against Salmonella enteritidis of all pullets destined for Lion egg-producing flocks, independent auditing, improved traceability of eggs and a ‘best-before’ date stamped on the shell and pack, as well as on-farm and packing station hygiene controls.”

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