An expert group, set up by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), to look at egg safety, 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. 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 currently advises vulnerable groups against this for all eggs.
Professor John Coia, Chair of the expert group on eggs, said: 'The committee has acknowledged that there has been a reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs since 2001. 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.
Recent outbreaks of food poisoning linked to salmonella in eggs highlights that a different level of risk still exists for other types of eggs, which is why the ACMSF is recommending FSA guidance remains the same for these.
The consultation is inviting views on the ACMSF report and its recommendations from a range of stakeholders, including food and hospitality industries, consumer and enforcement bodies, and health care practitioners.
Comments on the draft report and its recommendations should be submitted to the FSA by Sunday 1 May 2016.