FSA declares raw and lightly cooked eggs safe for children

11/10/2017 - 10:31
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced a change to its advice about eating eggs, declaring it now safe for children, infants, pregnant women and the elderly to eat “Lion marked” raw or lightly cooked eggs.

These ‘vulnerable’ groups had previously been advised not to eat runny eggs due to the possibility of salmonella, a bacteria known to cause food poisoning.

The decision to reverse its advice comes as a result of findings from a research group which found that the presence of salmonella in UK eggs had been “dramatically reduced” by the British Lion Scheme.

Lion Marked eggs account for 90% of eggs produced in the UK and are recognisable by a red lion print showing farm of origin and the best-before date.

FSA chairman, Heather Hancock, said: “It's good news that now even vulnerable groups can safely eat UK eggs without needing to hardboil them, so long as they bear the British Lion mark.

“The FSA has thoroughly reviewed the scientific evidence about the safety of these eggs, and we're confident that we can now change our advice to consumers.

“The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers. The measures they've taken, from vaccination of hens through to improving hygiene on farms and better transportation, have dramatically reduced salmonella levels in UK hens.”

The FSA added that certain food hygiene advice for using eggs should still be followed, such as washing hands thoroughly before and after handling them.

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