Pubs warned over Spanish eggs

By Becky Paskin, BigHospitality.co.uk

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food, Salmonella

Warning over eggs
Warning over eggs
A batch of Spanish eggs linked to an outbreak of salmonella in a number of restaurants and catering establishments, has sparked the Food Standards...

A batch of Spanish eggs linked to an outbreak of salmonella in a number of restaurants and catering establishments, has sparked the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to warn caterers to cook their eggs properly.

Almost 150 cases of salmonella across England and Wales, including five hospitalisations and two deaths, are being linked to several restaurants and cafes who may have been using eggs sourced from an 'approved establishment' in Spain.

Seven of 14 outbreaks reported since mid-August have been linked to oriental (Chinese or Thai) restaurants, six to other food establishments including three cafes and an Italian restaurant, and one to a care home in Sunderland. Five of the catering businesses were found to have been using eggs from the same producer in Spain.

The outbreak is part of over 400 reported cases of salmonella in the UK to date, a sharp increase on the 137 cases reported in 2008.

Cook eggs properly to avoid salmonella risk

The FSA, who is investigating the outbreak along with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Spanish authorities, is advising caterers to take extra care when cooking eggs while an investigation into the outbreak continues.

"Salmonella is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the UK and is sometimes found in unpasteurised milk, raw meat and poultry, as well as eggs and products containing raw egg," the FSA said. "The majority of eggs on sale in shops in the UK are of UK origin, and recent surveys have shown there is a very low incidence of salmonella in UK eggs. Even so, it isn't possible to guarantee that any egg will be free from salmonella, whatever the source."

Caterers should store eggs in the fridge away from other foods to avoid the risk of contamination, and be sure to clean the storage area thoroughly.

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