Green Eggs: Eggs advisory lifted after salmonella outbreak

GREEN Eggs owner Alan Green expects a boost in sales and consumer confidence after the Department of Health lifted a health warning about the business on Tuesday.

Deputy chief health officer Michael Ackland said eggs from the Great Western company should be safe for consumption.

The department issued a warning on March 3 for people and businesses to use Green Eggs only in cooked products and dishes, after the company’s eggs were linked to salmonella outbreaks at two restaurants that used them in raw egg products.

“The company has worked hard to meet the requirements put in place as a result of the outbreaks, and I am satisfied now that there is no increased risk if eggs supplied by Green Eggs are used in raw-egg products,” Dr Ackland said.

“Having said that, people need to be aware of the inherent increased risk of eating foods containing raw or under-cooked eggs from any source.

“Food and drinks containing raw and undercooked eggs – including mayonnaise, aioli, eggnog and tiramisu – have been associated with salmonella outbreaks. 

“These foods can be a risk, especially for the elderly and people with lowered immunity, children and pregnant women.”

He recommended people cook eggs until they were hot all the way through to kill any bacteria and ensure the eggs were safe to eat.

People should also check eggs were clean and not cracked before buying them.

“After purchase, refrigerate your eggs, preferably in the original carton so you know the best-before date. If you find a dirty or cracked egg, throw it out,” Dr Ackland said.

Mr Green said Green Eggs would be forced to become a wholesale egg producer if it had to keep washing its eggs.

The requirement, imposed on the company following the salmonella outbreak, meant Mr Green had to shut his grading floor.

It was not equipped to wash eggs.

For the past four weeks, staff have been transporting eggs to an accredited egg washing, grading and packing centre in Melbourne, which has taken its toll on the company.

“If the egg-washing directive doesn’t get lifted, the Green Eggs brand will be finished,” Mr Green said.

“Sales have been down to about 35 to 40 per cent for the past four weeks.

“We’re down to a skeleton staff now; we effectively had 15 people on the books, and are down to three.”

Lack of work meant five grading floor staff were stood down.

Another two full-time employees resigned within the past week.

Truck drivers and a salesman have also been made redundant.

“If we can get this washing order lifted, we will be back in the market for another seven people immediately,” Mr Green said.

Green Eggs has increased its hygiene measures during the past month, including vaccinating its chickens for salmonella.

“We need to show that the eggs are clean and healthy and don’t need to be washed,” he said.

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