Industry stakeholders have until May 1 to respond to a public consultation being run by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) looking at the safety of eating raw or lightly cooked eggs.
The consultation invites views on a recent report produced by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), whose egg safety examination found there has been a reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK shell eggs since its last report on this issue 15 years ago.
The group found that UK eggs produced under the Lion Code scheme have a very low risk in comparison to other eggs. As a result, the report recommends that Lion Code eggs, or eggs produced under equivalent schemes, can be served raw or lightly cooked to those in most vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, the young and the elderly.
The FSA, however, currently advises vulnerable groups against this for all eggs, which is why the issue is now being exposed to public consultation.
“The committee has acknowledged that there has been a reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs since 2001,” said ACMSF’s Professor John Coia, chair of the expert group on eggs. “This is especially the case for eggs produced under the Lion Code, or equivalent, schemes.”
Once the comments from the consultation are considered, and the report finalised by the ACMSF, the FSA will review its advice to vulnerable groups taking into account the independent committee’s conclusions.
FSA is especially keen to receive consultation input from stakeholders in the food and hospitality industries, consumer and enforcement bodies and health care practitioners.
Access consultation details