Many EU egg farms contaminated with Salmonella

15-06-2006 | |
Many EU egg farms contaminated with Salmonella

A recent study by the European Food Safety Authority has uncovered a high degree of Salmonella contamination on EU egg farms.

The study, which tested dust, bird faeces and other materials, found Salmonella on 79.5% of the premises tested in Portugal, 77.2% in Poland and 73.2% in Spain.

Although experts agree that flock contamination does not necessarily mean egg contamination, these statistics are worrying to some countries that import eggs from these regions.

In Britain, where contamination levels are among the lowest, the British Egg Industry Council and Food Safety and Food Standards Authority say that a ban on egg imports from countries with high levels of contamination should be considered.

Although 85% of the eggs eaten in Britain are produced on British farms, the remainder are imported from Europe, according to industry body the British Egg Industry Council.

The Council said that imports of eggs into the UK should be banned unless they have been produced to the standards required by the British Lion scheme, including vaccination of hens against Salmonella, a best-before date on every egg and full traceability of eggs, hens and feed.

The intention behind the survey is to fix targets to reduce salmonella across the EU.