The salmonella risk of eggs worries consumers.

The Food Agency has received several contacts following the recalls reported on Friday.

Three companies selling eggs under the brands Kieku, Pirkka and Kotimaista withdrew products from the sale due to the potential salmonella risk.

  • Read more: Three brands are pulling eggs out of sale because of the salmonella risk

Also on Monday, the K-Group said it was pulling eggs from sale due to the salmonella risk.

The recall applies to one batch of Pirkka eggs.

The product has been sold in the K-Citymarket in the center of Joensuu and in the K-Citymarket in Keljo, Jyväskylä.

On Monday, the K-Group announced another new batch of Pirkka eggs to be withdrawn.

  • Read more: The K-Group is once again pulling chicken eggs from sale due to the risk of Salmonella

    1. What is the risk of getting Salmonella from eggs, Food Inspector General Inspector Mika Varjonen?

    The prevalence of salmonella in Finland is exceptionally low in Europe.

    The prevalence of Salmonella is less than 1% of samples taken from farmed animals and foodstuffs derived from them each year.

    - In Central and Southern Europe, the share is clearly higher, in southern European channels up to 40%.

    The other Nordic countries are quite close to the Finnish level, Varjonen says.

    2. Can the case indicate an increase in salmonella in Finland?

    No information has come to the authorities to suggest this.

    This is an individual case.

    Both recalls are the result of the same salmonella risk, so Varjonen emphasizes that these are not two cases.

    The egg packer had forgotten to report the salmonella risk of eggs now withdrawn on Monday last week, but these are the same batch of eggs.

    - The number has remained very low and steady in recent decades.

    In 2009, salmonella was found in several chicken farms due to a contaminated batch of feed.

    3. Is the new case exceptional?

    This was one chicken sampled with salmonella.

    No Salmonella was found in the packing plant or in the eggs that were withdrawn.

    Egg recalls occur on average once a year.

    4. How is salmonella controlled?

    Finland has a national salmonella control program, on the basis of which samples are taken regularly, for example, on poultry farms.

    As there have traditionally been very few cases in Finland, the European Union has granted Finland so-called special guarantees.

    On the basis of them, Finland will have the right to require salmonella tests on certain foods before importation.

    In eggs, samples are taken every 15 weeks in the chicken.

    The sample is always taken from the production facilities and packing facilities, not from the chicken or egg.

    5. Can an egg carrying salmonella be detected organoleptically?

    In no way.

    Only very few salmonella, such as the newly discovered Salmonella Enteritidis, can end up inside an egg.

    If the chicken has Salmonella that does not pass into the eggs, they may have Salmonella bacteria on their surface through the feces.

    The bacterium cannot be seen with the eyes or the surface of the egg and does not alter the egg.

    6. Cage, organic, outdoor channel differences?

    There are only a small number of cases per year and therefore no known cases of salmonella have been recorded or investigated on the basis of the type of chicken production.

    Salmonella can come from feed or come to the farm with people, new animals, wildlife or goods.

    - If there were differences, a safer type of chicken would certainly have been pursued over the years, when it comes to costs.

    Disinfection is expensive if infection occurs on the farm.

    7. What is Salmonella?

    It is a bacterium that can cause severe intestinal inflammation or arthritis at worst.

    The infection may be asymptomatic for a long time.

    Salmonella are intestinal bacteria, but also survive outside the gut.

    According to the Department of Health and Welfare (THL), the most common symptoms are diarrhea and fever.

    Diarrhea lasts 4 to 10 days.

    In 2019, 200 cases of salmonella were reported to the THL Infectious Diseases Register in which the infection was acquired in Finland.

    8. What is the most common source of infection?

    In Finland, there is no single higher-risk food group.

    According to THL, the most common infections are poorly cooked meat, unpasteurized milk, sprouts, or fresh foreign products such as lettuce.

    However, the most common disease is caused by a holiday trip to Finland.

    9. Is Salmonella destroyed by heating?

    Cooking an egg always destroys salmonella.

    If the food is heated to bubbling and steaming hot, that’s enough.

    At an internal temperature of 75 degrees is sufficient for poultrymeat and 70 for other meat.

    10. Can raw eggs be eaten?

    Domestic eggs can be eaten raw, loosely cooked or even as part of mayonnaise.

    After handling the eggshells, it is good to wash your hands.