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Baltic Nations Implicate Salmonella in Imported Shell eggs


A recent report from Lithuania confirms that 38,000 ten-egg cartons were recalled as a result of contamination with Salmonella.  Eggs were supplied by Ovostar, the second largest egg producer in the Ukraine following an E.U. Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. Over the past year, the State Food and Veterinary Services of Lithuania has conducted intensive store-level sampling of eggs that detected one positive out of 198 samples examined.  The Authority also sampled 311 batches for drug residue. 

Ovostar Complex Ukraine

Latvia, with a population of 2.2 million has one significantly large producer, Balcovo, with 2.8 million hens plus numerous small independent producers.  The Agriculture Minister for Latvia, Kaspars Gerards, has requested the European Commission to insist that rules regarding production and safety should be followed with direct reference to the Ukraine that is not a member of the EU, but is allowed tariff concessions. 


Ovostar Union, an investor group distributing Ovostar products, has complained about negative publicity maintaining that since 2013, their health and safety precautions are equivalent to EU standards.  In 2019, close to 20 million dozen eggs were exported to the EU by the Ukraine.  The current recall was attributed to the presence of Salmonella Coeln, a rare serotype that is not generally regarded as vertically transmitted.  It is noted that in the EU it is not general practice to wash eggs and accordingly fecal contamination as a result of intestinal colonization with Salmonella may be reflected in outbreaks of salmonellosis among consumers if there are deficiencies in handling and preparation of egg dishes.


Estonia, a Baltic neighbor of Latvia with 1.3 million population, is a net importer of eggs.  In 2018 the largest producer, Sanlind OU depopulated 200,000 hens as a result of SE.


Outbreaks of salmonellosis have occurred previously among the Baltic nations.  In 2015, SE resulted in 187 cases among 42 teams attending the Riga Cup skating competition.  This outbreak concurrently involved 214 cases in seven nations and was traced to eggs supplied by Poland.