Salmonella at 25pc of poultry farms

20th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 June 2006, BRUSSELS — About a quarter of Belgian poultry farms are contaminated with salmonella, higher than the European average and three times the rate recorded in the Netherlands.

20 June 2006

BRUSSELS — About a quarter of Belgian poultry farms are contaminated with salmonella, higher than the European average and three times the rate recorded in the Netherlands.

The European Food Safety Authority said more than 50 percent of poultry farms in some EU countries are contaminated with salmonella.

Its report also revealed that (26.2 percent) of the major commercial poultry farms in Belgium were infected, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Tuesday.

This is higher than the EU average of 20.3 percent. Just 7.9 percent of Dutch farms are infected.

The Federal Food Agency in Belgium is aware of the problem, but said it has intensified the battle against salmonella in recent years.

"We currently have a voluntary vaccination programme against salmonella in farms," a spokesman said.

"We are seeing today a spectacular improvement in battery hens and reduced salmonella poisoning is being reported among the public."

About 10,000 salmonella poisoning cases among humans are reported each year in Belgium.  

In the near future, poultry farms will be obligated to vaccinate their birds against salmonella. However, the vaccine is not a 100 percent guarantee.

Salmonella in chicken meat and raw eggs is one of the biggest causes of food poisoning in Belgium.

However, random tests have also shown that less than 3 percent of the eggs at an infected farm are contaminated with the salmonella bacteria.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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