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Vulnerable groups 'safe to eat raw eggs'
Vulnerable groups can now safely eat UK eggs without needing to hardboil them.
Study shows major reduction in presence of salmonella

Children, pregnant women and the elderly can now eat raw or lightly cooked eggs under new advice published by the Food Standards Agency.

The FSA said that it had revised its advice based on the latest scientific evidence. It means that those who are vulnerable to infection can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked eggs - providing they are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice.

A report published last year by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiology Safety of Food showed the presence of salmonella in UK eggs had fallen substantially in recent years. This meant that the risks are very low for eggs which have been produced with the British Lion quality mark. More than 90 per cent of UK eggs are produced under this scheme.

FSA chairman Heather Hancock said: “It's good news that now even vulnerable groups can safely eat UK eggs without needing to hardboil them, so long as they bear the British Lion mark. The FSA has thoroughly reviewed the scientific evidence about the safety of these eggs, and we're confident that we can now change our advice to consumers.

“The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers. The measures they've taken, from vaccination of hens through to improving hygiene on farms and better transportation, have dramatically reduced salmonella levels in UK hens.

Several interventions have been put in place across the food chain as part of the Lion scheme, including vaccinating hens, enhanced testing for salmonella and improved farm hygiene.

The FSA adds that the revised advice does not apply to severely immunocompromised individuals, who require medically supervised diets prescribed by health professionals.

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."