Egg Crisis in Sweden: Tackling the Salmonella Food Safety Challenge

November 15, 2023

In a bid to combat a persistent Salmonella issue, Sweden’s largest egg producer, CA Cedergren, has decided to euthanize all hens at one of its farms. The facility, located near Fliseryd in the municipality of Mönsterås, housed over a million laying hens, constituting approximately 20% of the national laying flock. Despite year-long efforts by the Swedish Agricultural Agency to eliminate the pathogen, repeated detections have led to the decision to depopulate the farm for more effective cleaning and disinfection.

This move comes in the wake of a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that has affected 79 individuals across 16 regions of Sweden. The infections were traced back to an egg farm in Småland, where 165,000 hens were culled in response to the outbreak. Another recall involving 160,000 layers occurred in March, although it was not linked to human infections.

In a recent development, routine testing revealed Salmonella in a flock of approximately 15,000 laying hens on Gotland, prompting consideration of euthanasia for hygiene measures. The island, situated off the southeast coast of Sweden, is now under scrutiny by the agricultural agency.

To maintain egg supplies, Sweden has relied on imports during the ongoing challenges in domestic production. Swedish Egg, an industry organization, has ensured a steady supply to consumers despite the disruptions.

Meanwhile, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently released findings attributing a multi-country Salmonella outbreak in Europe to chicken meat and chicken meat products, particularly kebabs. The outbreak involved three types of Salmonella Enteritidis, with potential sources identified in Poland and Austria. Ongoing investigations anticipate further cases, providing opportunities to trace the contamination sources.

The recent Poultry Tech Summit introduced innovative technologies aimed at shaping the future of Salmonella control in the poultry industry. These advancements are crucial in addressing and preventing future outbreaks, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to food safety.


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