The Group concluded that the risk level for UK hen shell eggs produced under the Lion code, or produced under demonstrably-equivalent comprehensive schemes, should be considered as very low, whilst for other hen shell eggs, including non-UK eggs consumed in the UK, the risk level should be considered low. The report recommends that Lion code eggs (or eggs produced under equivalent schemes) can be served raw or lightly cooked to those in vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, the young and the elderly (but is not intended to include severely immunocompromised individuals).
Following finalisation of the ACMSF report in June 2016, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have reviewed their consumer advice taking into account the independent committee's conclusions and recommendations. It is proposed that the FSA and FSS will continue to advise that all raw, soft-boiled hen eggs or foods containing lightly cooked hen eggs are unlikely to lead to illness in people who are in good health (who are not in a vulnerable group).
In addition, we will no longer advise against the consumption of raw and lightly cooked eggs by vulnerable groups provided that they are produced under the Lion code quality assurance scheme. This advice does not include severely immunocompromised individuals.
The existing advice on non-hen shell eggs (e.g. duck and quail eggs), which should not be consumed raw or lightly cooked, will not change.
The ACMSF report also considered it necessary to highlight more clearly potential concerns relating to the non-domestic environment. To this end, the FSA and FSS will soon issue advice for catering establishments on egg handling and hygiene practices.
The ACMSF report provides the expert scientific opinion which has informed the proposed changes to our consumer advice.
We would be grateful for your views on the proposal for our revised consumer advice.
In parallel with this consultation, the FSA and FSS are considering the mechanism for UK egg producers which are not currently part of the Lion code Scheme to demonstrate an equivalent level of food safety control. We are therefore also seeking views on this matter from egg producers and assurance bodies as part of this consultation.
Please send your comments to email@example.com
The consultation will end on Friday 16 September 2016.