17th May 2022

More than a fifth of EU poultry has salmonella

More than a fifth of Europe's poultry flocks are infected with Salmonella, a new report shows – prompting some member states to consider imposing import restrictions on poultry products from other EU states.

In some EU countries more than half of the chicken farms are infected with Salmonella, the study by the Parma-based European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found in a preliminary report.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The EFSA report says contaminated hens do not always transfer the salmonella bacteria to its eggs (Photo: Notat)

In the Czech Republic, 62 percent of major poultry farms were infected, while 55 percent in Poland and 51 percent in Spain were contaminated with the bacteria.

Sweden and Luxembourg, on the other hand, had the best results both with 0 percent, followed by Finland on 0.4 percent and Denmark with 1.2 percent infected cases.

Sweden and Finland have a total ban on imports of meat with traces of salmonella.

The EU food safety body surveyed almost 5,000 poultry farms between October 2004 and September 2005 and its final report will be published in October.

Member states take action

Andrew Joret, deputy chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, called for sub-standard eggs to be banned from British shores.

"We believe that imports of eggs into the UK should be banned unless they have been produced to the standards required by the British Lion scheme, including vaccination of hens against salmonella, a best-before date on every egg and full traceability of eggs, hens and feed," he said.

The Spanish ministry of agriculture together with a Spanish association of poultry farmers assured on Thursday (15 June) that "Spanish eggs are safe and they do not represent a risk for the consumers," adding that the report looked for traces of salmonella in the dust and in the excrement of the hens.

The EFSA report says contaminated hens do not always transfer the salmonella bacteria to their eggs.

Denmark is considering enacting restrictions to stop meat infected with the bacteria from being imported from other European Union countries, after salmonella was found in German poultry sold in Danish supermarkets earlier this month.

Currently many salmonella-infected products are allowed under EU regulations because people are expected to cook raw meat before they eat it, and cooking kills salmonella, Ireland Online reports.

Danish authorities say 35,000 Danes became ill with salmonella in 2005 and 20 of them died.

UK and EU edge closer to trade war over Northern Ireland

The EU warning comes after the UK government escalated the conflict over the Northern Ireland protocol — a set of post-Brexit trade rules — by saying it will unilaterally pass a law to change the EU-UK trade treaty.

EU not doing enough to help Ukraine, Yellen says

EU must increase funding to "help ensure Ukraine prevails over Putin's aggression," US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said in Brussels — but some EU leaders are starting to sound less warlike and have instead called for an early peace.

MEPs raise ambition on EU carbon market reform

MEPs on the environment committee agreed on reform of the European carbon market — including expanding it to buildings and transport. They also want to extend the scope of the carbon border tax, and phase out free permits by 2030.

News in Brief

  1. EU to protect Finland and Sweden until they join Nato
  2. Poland backs Hungary over frozen 'rule of law' EU funds
  3. EU to reduce size and scope of Mali military mission
  4. Band members testify about Bataclan attack
  5. German prosecutors want five years for alleged ex-Nazi guard
  6. UN urges Iran to halt execution of Swedish-Iranian academic
  7. EU: legal Russian gas payments possible, but not in roubles
  8. McDonald's to sell up and exit Russia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  3. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  4. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersHuge support for Ukraine
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBWorkers want EC to limit subcontracting chains in construction

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us