FSA News Item, 15 June 2006
At its meeting in Bristol today, the Food Standards Agency Board was informed of a survey by the European Food Safety Authority of salmonella in chickens kept for egg production (laying flocks) across Europe .
The survey found low levels of salmonella in laying flocks in the UK but problems in some other European countries.
Dr Andrew Wadge, the Agency's Director of Food Safety, told the meeting:
'The UK comes out rather well in this survey in terms of low levels of salmonella found in the flocks, and this is largely due to the measures taken by the UK poultry industry over the last ten or fifteen years including vaccination.
'The Agency's own survey published in the last couple of years has shown that the vast majority of eggs we eat are salmonella free.
'However, we are working with DEFRA and the European Commission to address what action needs to be taken in relation to the other Member States. There will be a meeting in Brussels next week where we will be discussing action.
'There have been reports that we are pressing for a ban. What I will say at this stage is that we are not ruling out any option but there is no agreed position yet as to what action should be taken, other than the fact that we quite clearly want other Member States to meet the levels that eggs meet in the UK.'
See also EU News Item: 14 June 2006