Eggs from British firm are linked to salmonella outbreak that caused at least 45 people to fall ill this year

  • Chickens at British farm supplying major packer tested positive for salmonella
  • The bacteria can cause serious food poisoning and even fatal complications
  • British egg producers have made huge efforts to eliminate salmonella infections 
  • But the findings will be a blow for them as well as the Food Standards Agency

Eggs from a British firm have been linked to a salmonella outbreak that caused at least 45 people to fall ill this year – despite official assurances that they should be safe.

Chickens and eggs from one farm supplying a major packer in Kent have tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause serious food poisoning and even fatal complications.

The discovery is embarrassing for British egg producers, who have made huge efforts to eliminate salmonella infections, with millions of birds inoculated.

Eggs from a British firm have been linked to a salmonella outbreak that caused at least 45 people to fall ill this year – despite official assurances that they should be safe. A file image is used above

Eggs from a British firm have been linked to a salmonella outbreak that caused at least 45 people to fall ill this year – despite official assurances that they should be safe. A file image is used above

The findings will also be a blow for the Food Standards Agency which declared in October 2017 that eggs produced to British Lion standards were safe. 

This followed years of concerns, stretching back to the 1988 salmonella scare.

The FSA said: ‘Pregnant women, babies and elderly people can now enjoy dippy eggs again for the first time since the 1980s – as long as they have the British Lion mark on.’

Chickens and eggs from one farm supplying a major packer in Kent have tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause serious food poisoning and even fatal complications [File photo]

Chickens and eggs from one farm supplying a major packer in Kent have tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause serious food poisoning and even fatal complications [File photo]

The eggs at the centre of the latest scare were packed by a firm called Fridays, which does stamp the Red Lion on its eggs. 

It says on its website: ‘All of our eggs are produced under the Lion Code of Practice, which is focused on the safety of eggs and welfare requirements’.

Eggs produced by the infected flocks were placed under restrictions, meaning they cannot be sold and must be sent for processing to kill the bacteria or be disposed of. Birds from infected flocks were culled.

But the evidence suggests some contaminated eggs did reach consumers. 

Public Health England confirmed that 45 people had fallen ill after eating eggs infected with salmonella since January. 

Fridays, which produces 10million eggs a week, said it had removed the farm at the centre of the investigation from its supply chain and disinfected its packing operation.

The eggs at the centre of the latest scare were packed by a firm called Fridays, which does stamp the Red Lion on its eggs. The lion stamp is pictured above [File photo]

The eggs at the centre of the latest scare were packed by a firm called Fridays, which does stamp the Red Lion on its eggs. The lion stamp is pictured above [File photo]

A spokesman said: ‘Like all responsible UK egg farmers and egg packers, we carry out regular testing of our firms and those of our suppliers... Salmonella occurs naturally in the environment. However, with regular precautionary testing, vaccination of hens and rigorous control procedures, its prevalence in farming can be minimised.’

A Government spokesman said: ‘We take the safety of the nation’s food extremely seriously. 

The Food Standards Agency and Animal and Plant Health Agency are investigating and taking action to control this outbreak alongside industry, Public Health England and local authorities.’

Eggs from British firm are linked to salmonella outbreak

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.