§ Mr. Gareth Wardell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the total number of eggs sampled (i) between 1 January and 31 October and (ii) since 31 October; and what were the results regarding the incidence of salmonella enteriditis.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Preliminary information collected by the public health laboratory service in 1988 showed that in an examination of about 2,000 eggs from sources suspected of being associated with salmonella food poisoning, salmonella enteritidis PT4 was cultured from the shells of only seven eggs; from the content only of two eggs and from both shell and contents of two eggs. Because these eggs were selected from suspect flocks they are not representative and no inference can be drawn from these findings about the extent of salmonella contamination of eggs in this country.
In addition, the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service have examined eggs for a number of individual producers on a contractual basis. Individual results are commercially confidential. However, in total around 4,000 eggs were examined to date without any positive results for salmonella.