21 January 2000

Egg pasteurising hope

SAINSBURY is working with its suppliers in an attempt to pasteurise eggs in their shells, reducing risk of bacterial contamination.

Steam pasteurisation is already being trialed in UK abattoirs (Livestock, Jan 14), and is currently being tested by Sainsburys in egg packing plants, as well as by its poultry processors.

According to a company spokesperson, both plants are prototypes, and so work is required to see whether and how steam pasteurisation will affect product quality. "Obviously, we dont want treatment to have any impact on quality.

"The process wont replace good hygiene during processing or in the home, but anything which helps increase consumer confidence is welcome."

Pasteurisation will produce eggs which are safe to eat raw, says the companys chief microbiologist.

Alec Kyriakides, quoted in the Daily Mail.