UK egg producers ready to meet salmonella controls

01-11-2006 | |
UK egg producers ready to meet salmonella controls

With the deadlines for new European salmonella control regulations for eggs approaching, the UK reports that it is well-placed to comply with the rules.

The new controls, which are aimed at reducing and controlling the prevalence of salmonella in poultry and eggs across the EU, were adopted after a Europe-wide salmonella survey found concerning levels of the bacteria in eggs.
The survey, which was conducted by the European Food Safety Authority, tested dust, bird faeces and other materials, and 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).
In the survey, Britain achieved the lowest salmonella scored among the larger countries, with salmonella detected in 11.9 percent of British flocks. The comparatively low level is because of controls including compulsory vaccination through the Lion Egg scheme, according to Eduardo Bernardi, veterinarian and director of marketing and registrations at Lohmann Animal Health.
“British egg producers have set the example — determining the draft guidelines the EU Commission set for future controls in layer flocks. Based on the British experience, from 2008 vaccination of all flocks will become compulsory in countries where salmonella exceeds 10 percent,” he said.
Bernardi warned, however, that vaccination does not provide a one-step solution. Egg producers must focus on the salmonella control programme as a whole, by disinfection, hygiene, vermin control and the introduction of comprehensive bio-security programmes along with vaccination, he said.