Runny eggs declared safe to eat 30 years after salmonella scare

British Lion code

GETTYThe risks are'very low for eggs which had been produced according to the British Lion code

Those measures include hen vaccination, improved hygiene on farms and better transportation.

Fans of runny eggs rejoice: eggs carrying the British Lion mark have been declared safe to eat nearly 30 years after concerns over salmonella peaked.

The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) report found the presence of Salmonella in United Kingdom eggs has reduced in recent years and risks are very low for eggs produced according to food safety controls applied by the British Lion Code of Practice.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) revised its advice that those vulnerable to infection could now safely eat raw or lightly cooked eggs following a thorough review of new scientific evidence.

But now, 30 years on, we can finally be at rest with our runny eggs as they've now been deemed safe to eat.

Edwina Currie was forced to resign as health minister in 1988 after saying on television that "most of the egg production..."

FSA chairwoman Heather Hancock said the watchdog had "thoroughly reviewed" the new scientific evidence following improvements in animal welfare and a vaccination programme and was "confident" about relaxing its rules.

The resulting scare led millions of people to turn away from eggs in what was a devastating blow to sales and British farmers.

By early 1989 the link between eggs and salmonella poisoning was proved beyond doubt.

More than 90% of United Kingdom eggs are produced under this scheme, the "British Lion Mark", printed on eggs in red ink, was introduced so that eggs could be traced back to the farm of origin and to show best-before dates.

"The risk of salmonella is now so low you needn't worry".

It said: 'Infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked eggs that are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice'.

"It's important to note though that this revised advice does not apply to the severely immunocompromised who require medically supervised diets".

The existing advice on United Kingdom non-Lion eggs, non-hen eggs and eggs from outside the United Kingdom, is that they should always be cooked thoroughly for vulnerable groups.

Adults opting to eat raw or lightly cooked egg are nonetheless urged to follow good hygiene practices in the kitchen - avoiding cross contamination, cleaning work surfaces, dishes and utensils and washing hands thoroughly before and after handling eggs.

Egg consumers should still be mindful of best before dates and storing eggs in cool, dry places.

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