Raw Eggs Safe for Pregnant Women, UK Panel Decides

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A new guidance by the UK Food Standards Agency changes a long-held warning against raw eggs

Raw eggs carry less risk of salmonella than originally thought.

A U.K. panel is set to declare raw and slightly cooked eggs as safe to eat for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, the young, and the elderly.

The findings come as a result of an eight-week study by the Food Standards Agency’s Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF)

The study is the first of its kind since a similar ACMSF study in 2001. The new study found that the risk of salmonella in U.K. hens has been drastically reduced since 2001. That low risk led the FSA to declare raw eggs as safe to serve.

The United States Food and Drug Administration have different guidelines for pregnant women. For U.S. women, pasteurization is key: At home and at restaurants, the FDA recommends that pregnant women ask for pasteurized eggs for everything from Caesar salads to homemade eggnog.

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The U.K. guidelines were originally put in place in the 1980s when an outbreak of salmonella resulted in the slaughtering of two million infected hens and a warning to pregnant women to avoid uncooked eggs.