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New warning over how to cook eggs after huge increase in salmonella

 (  J.Bilic/photocuisine/Corbis)
( J.Bilic/photocuisine/Corbis)

Britons should take care cooking eggs amid a surge of salmonella cases related to poultry products imported from Poland, the UK food watchdog warned.

The Food Standards Agency urged consumers to take care when storing, handling and cooking eggs, including making sure they are cooked properly.

It comes as over 200 human cases of salmonellosis linked to poultry products such as eggs and meat have been reported this year.

“A number of the cases have involved the consumption of eggs produced in Poland and used in meals in restaurants and cafes,” the FSA’s head of incidents Tina Potter said.

“We are therefore asking local authorities to remind food businesses about the importance of good hygiene practices,” she added.

File photo of chickens in cages (AP)
File photo of chickens in cages (AP)

It also warned consumers to take care handling and cooking products like chilled and frozen chicken, turkey drumsticks, breasts, thighs and chicken pieces.

The agency said it was in talks with Polish and EU officials to ensure “all necessary steps” are taken to improve safety of poultry and eggs imported from Poland.

Upcoming legislation on controlling the import of food and feed from the EU to UK will also allow the FSA to check controls are in place, the regulator said.

Salmonella is a common food bacteria found in raw meat, undercooked poultry, eggs and unpasteurised milk that can cause food poisoning.

The bug can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea and can be spread from person to person, leading to severe fever and dehydration in some cases.

“Babies, children, pregnant women, and older people should only eat runny or raw eggs if they have a British Lion mark or are produced under the Laid in Britain egg assurance scheme,” it said.

Last month, Sweden’s largest egg producer was ordered to euthanise all of its hens so the facility could be fully cleaned amid an outbreak of salmonella.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture forced producer CA Cedergren, which had nearly 1.2 million chickens or 20 per cent of all laying hens in the country, to euthanise the animals.