It’s dangerous politics to talk about eggs and risk in the UK.
In 1988, then junior UK health minister Edwina Currie warned the British public that most of the egg production in the UK was affected by Salmonella. Egg sales collapsed, Currie was eventually turfed from cabinet and millions worth of compensation was paid to egg producers.
Yesterday, Members of Parliament scrambled to blast a ban on chefs using fresh eggs in the House of Commons’ kitchens.
Caterers have been told they are “too dangerous” and could be contaminated with salmonella.
Instead they must use liquid egg for dishes like omelette.
But Labour MP Thomas Docherty, vice chairman of the Commons Administration Committee, ordered an inquiry into the daft move.
He said: “I have asked managers to find out who took this ridiculous decision.”
Another shell-shocked MP warned: “If MPs cannot or will not eat scrambled eggs because they are a health risk, members of the public may say, ‘if it is too dangerous for MPs then it must be too dangerous for us’.”
A Commons spokeswoman insisted the ban was in line with Food Standards Agency advice.
She added: “Dishes such as scrambled eggs, mousses or omelettes which do not reach a core temperature of 75C are now made using pasteurised liquid egg rather than fresh eggs.”
But the Food Standards Agency said there was nothing to stop caterers cooking with fresh eggs.
A spokesman pointed out the guidance on using the liquid version was meant for vulnerable people like the elderly and seriously ill.
It also applied only if the dish was not to be fully cooked.
The spokesman added: “This is simply guidance and not a legal requirement.”
Guidance needs to be clear and food safety is never simple. Keep those eggs piping hot.