Salmonella risk from British eggs

Hannah Wild

October 1, 2019

When UK shoppers buy food staples from their local supermarket, fear of contamination is probably not the first thing on their mind.

However, since January this year, at least 45 consumers from across the UK have been taken ill after eating eggs which had been contaminated with salmonella (according to The Guardian (23 Sept, 2019). This is especially concerning since the Food Standards Agency (FSA) had, two years prior, announced that almost all of UK-produced eggs were free of salmonella.

Salmonella is a bacterial disease which can cause the typical symptoms of food poisoning; however, it can make those infected with it severely ill and can even prove fatal, especially to vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and pregnant women.

Salmonella outbreaks such as this could have been prevented with careful monitoring of egg-laying flocks, ensuring pests and vermin do not come into contact with hens, and enforcing strict hygiene regulations in farms and factories (Poultry News (Feb 20,2019); Poultry World (Sept 18, 2018). Furthermore, vaccination may be an option for some producers; British Red Lion eggs come from hens which have been vaccinated against the bacterial disease, meaning the eggs carry little to no risk of being contaminated with salmonella.

At NT Assure, we can carry out supplier audits. This allows your business to ensure that your suppliers are conforming to high standards, helping avoid contamination-based outbreaks such as this, which can be detrimental to your customers’ health and your brand.