Following the news that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have changed their advice on the safety of eating raw or runny eggs for people vulnerable to infection, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) urges consumers to be cautious and look for the lion mark.
The FSA’s new advice says that children, pregnant women, and elderly people, who are all vulnerable to infection and food poisoning, can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs or foods containing them.
The FSA’s decision to change their advice comes after an expert group set up by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) in February 2015 to look at egg safety, reported that the presence of salmonella in UK eggs has been dramatically reduced in recent years.
Responding to the news, Tony Lewis, Head of Policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:
“Whilst this is good news, we strongly urge consumers to look for the lion when considering whether eggs are safe to eat.
Many eggs are imported into the UK that do not meet the British Lion Code of Practice, and are therefore not stamped with the lion mark.
Our advice is that people should only consider eggs stamped with the lion mark to be safe to eat raw or lightly cooked. Eggs without the mark must still be thoroughly cooked before being eaten.”
Notes to editors
1. The ACMSF report was published in July 2016 and can be seen here: https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/acmsf-egg-reportv1.pdf
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About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):
The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 9,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved.
Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. The CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.
For more information visit www.cieh.org and follow the CIEH on Twitter @The_CIEH.