Salmonella Detected in Eggs

Salmonella contaminated eggs

27.11.2006

There have been a number of outbreaks of salmonella over the last few years that have been linked to contaminated eggs. The Health Protection Agency has investigated 80 outbreaks since 2002 and confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Cheshire, Merseyside, West Lancashire, Warrington and Stockport are just some of the areas affected by contamination.

These outbreaks have been linked to contaminated eggs from Spain. The British Egg Industry Council recently called for sub-standard eggs to be banned from the UK. British eggs are produced according to strict guidelines. Hens have to be vaccinated against salmonella, every egg has to have a best before date and the egg, hen and their feed has to be fully traceable. A survey published this summer by the European Food Safety Authority revealed that levels of salmonella found on English farms is the third lowest in Europe, conversely, 51% of farms in Spain are contaminated with the deadly bacteria.

In a recent Food Standards Agency investigation, 1,744 boxes containing six eggs were sampled from eight different countries. Salmonella contamination on the egg shell was found in 157 boxes. Of these 157 boxes, salmonella enteritidis was found within the eggs in 10 boxes. It is estimated that one in eight egg boxes, originating from Spain, were contaminated with salmonella. The UK imports approximately 25 million eggs from Spain each year. If one in eight boxes of eggs imported are contaminated, more than three million people may be carrying the bug.

Symptoms of salmonella begin between 6 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. The bacteria can cause the lining of the stomach and intestines to swell. These symptoms can last for five to seven days. Medical treatment is not usually necessary unless there is a risk of dehydration or the infection spreads or persists.

If you or someone you know has been affected by salmonella poisoning, you may be able to claim compensation for your injury and loss. Irwin Mitchell has experience in handling claims involving salmonella and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. You may not be alone, in which case, we will refer you to the best contact in our group action team.