The FSA confirmed today that British Lion eggs – eggs bearing the British Lion stamp - are safe to be eaten runny and raw, even by more vulnerable people, such as infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people.
Since 1988, as a result of the salmonella scare, the government has been advising that vulnerable people should not eat eggs unless they are fully cooked.
The new advice follows a year-long risk assessment by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food.
Extensive food safety measures, introduced within the British Lion Code of Practice in 1998, are to thank for the dramatic fall in human cases of salmonella, which has resulted in the new advice.
“The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers” says Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency.
“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.”
More than 90% of British eggs are now produced within the British Lion scheme, meaning the producers are required to follow a stringent Code of Practice
Measures taken to maintain egg safety include vaccinating their hens against salmonella; increased hygiene controls; salmonella testing; stamping a best-before date on the egg shell as well as on the box; and independent auditing.
Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, says the news is a “real success story for the UK industry”.