Eggs O.K if they have the ‘Red British Lion Mark’

Pregnant women should be told they can safely eat runny eggs, almost 30 years after the salmonella crisis, a report says. British eggs with the red lion mark carry such a low risk that vulnerable groups, such as expectant mothers and elderly people, could eat them lightly cooked or raw in items such as mayonnaise, the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food said. 

The report by the committee’s egg working group said lion marked eggs, which make up almost 90% of UK production, should be categorised as “very low” risk. This was because improved hygiene and storage had resulted in “a major reduction in the microbiological risk from salmonella” in British hen eggs in the last 15 years. 

It recommended that the Food Standards Agency change its official advice on these eggs but said the warning should remain in place for imported eggs, UK eggs without the lion mark and those from birds other than hens. 

Fears over salmonella peaked in the late 1980s when 2 million chickens were slaughtered and pregnant women were told to avoid undercooked eggs.