Raw eggs 'safe for pregnant women'
Raw eggs are safe for pregnant women to eat, a safety committee says.
A report from the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food states there is “very low” risk of salmonella from UK eggs produced to Red Lion code or its equivalent.
Salmonella is a potentially deadly bacteria, which has been previously associated with eating raw eggs.
However, tighter hygiene standards within the UK “Red Lion” hen farms are now free from salmonella. It also warns that safety guidelines, including proper storage and eating eggs within best before dates, must still be followed.
The Advisory Committee is now recommending that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) considers amending its advice on eating eggs for those “vulnerable” to infection. The FSA said it had launched an eight-week consultation in response to the report.
The report says:
“It was the strong view of the working group that there has been a major reduction in the microbiological risk from salmonella in UK hen shell eggs since the 2001 ACMSF report.
“This is especially the case for those eggs produced under the Lion code quality assurance scheme.
“In practical terms, the group considered that the ‘very low’ risk level means that UK eggs produced under the Lion code, or under demonstrably equivalent comprehensive schemes, can be served raw or lightly cooked to all groups in society, including those that are more vulnerable to infection, in domestic and non-domestic settings, including care homes and hospitals.”
Historically the FSA’s advice has always been that “eating raw eggs, eggs with runny yolks or any food that is uncooked or only lightly cooked and contains raw eggs may cause food poisoning”.