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UK eggs declared safe 30 years after salmonella scare

From BBC - October 10, 2017

"Lion mark" eggs have been declared safe for pregnant women and young children, nearly 30 years after a salmonella scare.

Vulnerable groups had been advised not to eat raw, soft boiled or runny eggs.

The Food Standards Agency says "Lion Mark" eggs, which include almost all of the eggs produced in the UK, are now free of salmonella.

The new advice comes after a vaccination programme, and improvements to animal welfare.

In 1988, a scare over the presence of salmonella in eggs caused a dramatic collapse in sales of eggs and a series of warnings for vulnerable groups to avoid eating them if they were raw or runny.

The then junior Conservative health minister, Edwina Currie, declared: "Most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now affected with salmonella."

Salmonella bacteria can cause food poisoning.

Mrs Currie's statement wildly overstated the danger and eventually led to her resignation.

But there was a problem with salmonella in eggs and by the 1990s producers started a vaccination programme.

Lion Mark

The "British Lion Mark", printed on eggs in red ink, was introduced so that eggs could be traced back to the farm of origin and to show best-before dates.

Almost 30 years on from the initial scare, the Food Standards Agency's Heather Hancock, says runny eggs can now be eaten by everyone.

"We are now saying if there is a British Lion egg, you are safe to do that.

"The risk of salmonella is now so low you need not worry.

"And that's true whether you are a fit healthy adult, or whether you are pregnant or elderly or young.

Growing appetite for eggs

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