The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released advice on minimising the risk of contracting salmonella from washed eggs.

Its guidelines reflect concerns that washing eggs can actually promote contamination with bacteria, by passing microorganisms between shells and damaging outer surfaces.

Advice includes oiling the external surface of eggs to block their pores to water-born bacteria; storing eggs at below 8°C, and keeping them at this temperature; using UV-light to kill microorganisms; and prompt thorough drying of eggs after washing, and prior to packing, to avoid mould growth. EFSA also stresses the importance of keeping salmonella and other infections out of egg laying units.