The report was compiled by an expert group set up by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Foods (ACMSF), with a brief to re-examine the issue and consider progress since the last report on egg safety in 2001.
The group found that there has been a reduction in the risk from UK shell eggs produced under the Lion Code scheme over the last 15 years. The scheme includes a number of measures, including vaccination, improved hygiene and testing, date stamping and a cool chain from farm to retailer, all designed to reduce Salmonella contamination.
The report recommends that the risk level from UK shell eggs produced under the Lion Code scheme should be regarded as very low and that advice to consumers should be amended. Eggs produced under the scheme can now be served raw or lightly cooked to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, the elderly and young children.
The expert group recommends that non-Lion Code eggs and imported eggs should still be subject to the existing guidance and should not be served raw or lightly cooked to vulnerable groups. They also take the view that commercial egg products should continue to be pasteurised.
The consultation will be open until 1 May and more information can be found on the FSA website here.