Poultry jabs to crack salmonella in eggs

03 November 1998

Poultry jabs to crack salmonella in eggs

THE British Egg Industry Council has announced a £4 million vaccination programme designed to eliminate salmonella from British eggs.

The council said the vaccination would be compulsory for all poultry flocks producing eggs for sale with the red lion symbol.

Andrew Parker, chairman of the council, said: “This is a breakthrough in the battle to get rid of salmonella from eggs.”

Richard Lacey, the professor of microbiology who has been a long-standing critic of the industry, welcomed the move.

The vaccine has been developed by the Governments Central Veterinary Laboratory in Surrey.

It gives hens immunity to salmonella enteritidis, the strain of the bacterium most often associated with poultry and eggs. There were 14,536 cases of human food poisoning caused by that type of salmonella last year.

The level of salmonella in eggs has remained virtually unchanged over the past 10 years, despite the slaughter by the Government of nearly four million birds in infected flocks at a cost of £8.5m.

Red lion eggs are now all to have a “best before” date stamped both on the shell and on the pack, which should be within 21 days of the eggs being laid.

The new code of practice will also require eggs to be stored on farms and by packers at a temperature of no more than 20°C (68°F).

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