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UK Observing Rise in SE Cases


The Food Standards Agency has warned that eggs might be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.  It is unfortunate that implicated eggs were marketed by major supermarkets in England and Wales under the British Lion scheme.  Established after the unfortunate and erroneous comments by then under Secretary of Health Edwina Currie MP (“Eggwina”) in 1988, the British Lion certification program mandating flock vaccination, biosecurity and monitoring, closely follows U.S.egg quality assurance programs initiated by states to establish consumer confidence and restore demand.


Since June, 23rd individual cases of SE have been diagnosed in consumers resulting in trace back to the implicated farm.  In the present outbreak, SE was apparently detected on a farm supplying Sainsbury’s, a major upmarket chain.  Asda and Aldi apparently also received eggs potentially contaminated with SE.

Dep Health Minister Edwina Currie 1988


Europe has experienced an upsurge in SE cases over the past three years mainly from eggs and chicken derived from infected flocks in Poland.  The present limited outbreak is, however, attributed to a UK farm.  EU regulations require individual stamping of eggs with the production system, nation of origin, registered farm, and use-by date.  This facilitates trace-back and limits the incidence rate given appropriate response by regulatory authorities and producers.