Targeting contaminated eggs
The European Commission is planning to set new targets to reduce salmonella in laying hens in member states. The move follows the publication of an EU study, which shows high levels of infection in flocks in a number of countries.
UK animal health and welfare minister, Ben Bradshaw, welcomed the preliminary
report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), saying that the figures for British flocks were comparatively low, with UK infection rates among the lowest in Europe.
The EFSA report claims the number of eggs from infected flocks contaminated with salmonella is low, but the Commission says the results are a cause for concern and is urging national authorities to step up their measures to
tackle this problem.
A Commission spokesperson said there had been concern about reducing
levels of salmonella EU-wide for some time, and legislation to reduce salmonella progressively was adopted in 2003.“Under this legislation, all table eggs must come from salmonella-free flocks from the beginning of 2010. The Commission would have preferred an earlier date, but this was what member states and the European Parliament decided, the spokesperson added.
Targets will be set to ensure countries with higher levels of salmonella in their flocks make more rapid progress.Vaccination against salmonella will become mandatory in countries with a high prevalence.