§ Sir Hal Miller
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to whether any producers involved in outbreaks of salmonella attributed by him to eggs test their eggs for salmonella and have found them free from infection.
[holding answer 19 December]: Because of the probably very low number of eggs infected out of the total production of even an infected flock, a manageable sampling and testing regime in eggs from flocks is unlikely to detect the presence of infection. For example, if only one in 10,000 eggs were infected that would constitute a health risk but no sampling method would be likely to detect that level of infection. Safety cannot be assured by sampling therefore and no flock could be declared salmonella-free unless a large proportion of its output was tested.