UK: New law to control salmonella in poultry

New legislation in the UK will make it a legal requirement for laying flock farmers to take steps to assess levels of salmonella in their flocks.

This legislation requires that UK poultry farmers follow a sampling and testing programme set out in a National Control Programme (NCP) to establish the prevalence of salmonella on-farm.
According to Farmers Guardian, the programme targets salmonella enteritidis (SE) and salmonella typhimurium (ST) and aims to reduce incidence in each by 10% per year for the next three years from a baseline established following an EU-wide survey in 2006.
Lowest salmonella levels
In this survey, UK levels of SE and ST were found to be among the lowest of the major egg producing member states, with one or the other present on 8% of laying flock holdings. This compares with an average across all member states of 20.4%.
The NCP requires that, as of 2009, eggs from flocks confirmed to be infected with SE or ST may not appear as fresh shell eggs at retail. Additionally, such eggs may not be used for human consumption unless treated to eliminate salmonella.
On 1 Feb, New legislation to support the NCP in laying flocks came into force.
Enhance safety of UK eggs
Deputy chief veterinary officer, Alick Simmons, "…we believe that with the support of industry the NCP can further enhance the reputation, quality and safety of UK egg production."
All Member States are expected to have implemented a NCP this month (Feb, '08), which meets the requirements of the EU legislation.
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Editor WorldPoultry

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