UK consumers urged to avoid imported eggs
The British Egg Industry Council is urging caterers and consumers to look for the British Lion mark on eggs in the wake of a large outbreak of salmonella food poisoning believed to be linked to imported eggs.
The type of salmonella identified, Salmonella enteritidis PT14b has not been found in UK eggs and has previously been linked to salmonella outbreaks in the UK from imported eggs.
The British Lion Code of Practice has effectively eliminated salmonella from British eggs, but a significant amount of imported eggs are still being bought by some wholesalers and caterers.
Andrew Joret, Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: "It is unbelievable that British consumers are still being put at risk by imported eggs. The British egg industry, through the Lion mark, has 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. Caterers should be using due diligence and ensuring that they only serve eggs which conform to Lion standards."
Public Health England said there have been 55 cases of salmonella enteritidis in Hampshire, 25 in London, 33 in Cheshire and 43 in the West Midlands. 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.
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