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FSA News Item, 25 July 2016
A report published today by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) into egg safety has shown a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs.
Responding to the report the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today launched an eight week consultation reviewing the advice given to consumers on eating lightly cooked or raw eggs.
The FSA sought the advice of the ACMSF as to whether the risk to consumers, including vulnerable groups such as, pregnant women, the young, and the elderly, from eating lightly cooked or raw shell eggs has changed since 2001, when the Committee last reviewed the subject of salmonella in eggs.
Professor John Coia, Chair of the ACMSF Expert Ad Hoc group on eggs said, 'The committee has found that there has been a major reduction in the risk from Salmonella in UK hens’ eggs since 2001. This is especially the case for eggs produced under the Lion Code, or equivalent schemes. It also recommended that these eggs could be served raw or lightly cooked to both those in good health and those in more vulnerable groups.'
Following Committee approval and a UK wide consultation of the report, the FSA has agreed to examine its advice taking into account the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations.
At present, the FSA’s advice to consumers is that eating raw eggs, eggs with runny yolks or any food that is uncooked or only lightly cooked and contains raw eggs, may cause food poisoning and warns vulnerable groups against eating them.
The consultation is inviting views on the recommended changes to the FSA’s advice from a range of stakeholders, including food and hospitality industries, consumer and enforcement bodies, and health care practitioners.
Comments on the proposed change to consumer advice should be submitted to the FSA by Friday 16 September 2016, when the consultation closes.
For a copy of the full ACMSF report, see: An update on the microbiological risk from shell eggs and their products
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