The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said the ongoing illnesses due to Salmonella Enteritidis PT14b are similar to the strain responsible for an outbreak in the UK. Earlier this month, the UK Food Standards Agency named Granja Avícola ‘El Angel’ in Spain as being the likely source of contaminated eggs that are thought to have caused a trebling in cases this year to 443 compared to 144 in 2008.
Officials in Ireland said they are continuing to probe the matter but that at present they are unable to pinpoint the source of the problem. In order to do this the FSAI has issued a plea for more information about the source of the eggs on the Irish market. The FSAI has a complete list of suppliers of Irish eggs but does not have comparable information on suppliers of non-Irish eggs into the Irish market.
Call for information
In order to guide people, the FSAI said eggs are stamped with a producer code which begins with 3 for cage eggs, a country code – such as United Kingdom UK, Spain ES - and followed by letters and/or numbers identifying the unique farm where they were produced. Packs containing eggs must bear an indication of the packing centre code which also includes the country code of the packing centre, said the FSAI.
The body is asking egg inspectors, Environmental Health Officers, as well as manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to check if eggs with code 3ES450470000034E are available on the Irish market. All information should be sent to the FSAI at firstname.lastname@example.org