Food industry welcomes imported egg warning

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

FSA issues warning over imported eggs from Poland after and outbreak of Salmonella. Image: Getty, Ralf Liebhold
FSA issues warning over imported eggs from Poland after and outbreak of Salmonella. Image: Getty, Ralf Liebhold

Related tags Foodborne disease outbreaks

Members of the food manufacturing and food science community have welcomed recent warnings from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) against the consumption of imported eggs.

The FSA – along with Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the UK Health Security Agent (UKHSA) – reminded consumers to take care when cooking poultry products at home, in light of a recent rise in cases of food poisoning caused by Salmonella Enteritidis linked to products imported from Poland.

An investigation is ongoing, with more than 200 human cases of salmonellosis caused by specific genetic strains of Salmonella Enteritidis that have been linked to poultry products such as meat and eggs, this year.

Tina Potter, head of incidents at the FSA, said: “A number of the cases have involved the consumption of eggs produced in Poland and used in meals in restaurants and cafes. We are therefore asking local authorities to remind food businesses about the importance of good hygiene practices.”

Health and reputation on the line

Gary Ford, British Egg Industry Council deputy chief executive, said British Lion eggs fully endorsed the FSA’s announcement and decision to safeguard British consumers and food businesses from the risks posed by Polish eggs.

“There have been ongoing food safety issues with non-UK eggs for years,” ​Ford added. “Once you move away from the comprehensive food safety controls offered by the British Lion Code of Practice, businesses that choose to use imported eggs not only gamble with the health of their customers, they’re also putting their hard-earned reputations on the line.

“We strongly urge responsible businesses to source British Lion eggs, which are clearly marked with the little red Lion on the packaging and the shell, to ensure that they are selling and serving safe eggs.”

Salmonella outbreaks

Warnings over imported eggs from Poland followed more than 200 cases of Salmonella identified by the UKHSA in travellers returning from Turkey​ between 15 January and 19 July 2023. Many were liked to the Antalya region.

Institute of Food Science and Technology Sterling Crew added: “As a food safety professional, I would always advocate food businesses and consumers to prioritise the food safety guarantees offered by British Lion eggs, which are produced to the most comprehensive standards in the world.

“The risks associated with Polish eggs are very real and could have serious consequences, particularly for vulnerable groups.”

Meanwhile, Food Manufacture explores how the food and drink industry can make improvements in the areas of food safety, hygiene and cleaning.

Related topics Food Safety Meat, poultry & seafood

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