“LION mark” eggs have been declared safe for pregnant women and young children, nearly 30 years after a salmonella scare.
Vulnerable groups, including babies, children, pregnant women and elderly people, had been advised not to eat raw, soft boiled or runny eggs.
However, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has now announced that “Lion Mark” eggs, which include around 90 per cent of eggs produced in the UK, are virtually free of salmonella.
The new advice comes after a vaccination programme, and improvements to animal welfare.
In 1988, a scare over the presence of salmonella – a bacteria which can cause food poisoning – resulted in vulnerable people being warned against eating them if they were raw or runny.
In response to this, the “British Lion Mark”, printed on eggs in red ink, was introduced so that eggs could be traced back to the farm of origin and to show best-before dates.
Almost 30 years on from the initial scare, the Food Standards Agency’s Heather Hancock, said: “We are now saying if there is a British Lion egg, you’re safe to do that.
“The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers.
“It means that 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.”
“It’s only people on strictly medically supervised diets who need to avoid those eggs.”
The existing advice on UK non-Lion eggs, non-hen eggs and eggs from outside the UK, is that they should always be cooked thoroughly for vulnerable groups.