Don’t drop your salmonella guard – UK egg producers warned

13-10-2010 | | |

A warning against complacency over salmonella control has been issued by Klaus Torborg of Lohmann Animal Health.

Torborg said that the recall of over 500 million eggs due to the salmonella outbreaks in the United States should serve as a warning to producers not to drop their guard.  However, he praised the UK’s record of salmonella control in egg production and pointed out that Britain had led the way.  It had the lowest levels of salmonella in laying hens of any major egg-producing country.

He was speaking at a special dinner in Shropshire – attended by over 100 egg producers – to mark the 10th anniversary of the licensing of Lohmann’s live, oral salmonella vaccine in the UK.

In 2004/05 – when an EU baseline study was conducted – the prevalence of Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium in UK laying hens was 7.9%. By 2008 (the latest figures available) this had dropped to just 1%. Torborg said that it was not surprising that the EU had used the UK model for its control programme.

As well as vaccination, good salmonella control is dependent on personal hygiene, pest control, vehicle disinfection as well as water and building disinfection, he reminded producers.

A novel egg-shaped giant cake, specially baked to mark the occasion, was cut by Shropshire egg producer Aled Griffiths of Oaklands Farm Eggs, who said that the introduction of the oral vaccine – which could be dispensed through the drinking water – had made vaccination easier and more welfare friendly. Birds did not have to be handled and individually injected.