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With two high profiles cases of Salmonella this year, with eggs being blamed for both, the question is “will Scores On Doors protect against egg contamination?

Check 4 on the Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) is:

“No sale of food that is damaged, deteriorated or perished, no use of cracked or dirty eggs or food past use by date”. – 4 points

The greatest source of contamination is from the outside of the egg and so Scores on Doors is enforcing the use of clean eggs. This puts many restaurants in a tough position – they want to be supporting local farms (especially the organic industry) and local markets, but they won’t necessarily have the same level of scrutiny.

Which means that they really aren’t in a tough position – they aren’t an option.

But let’s assume that “Als Organic Burgers” wants locally sourced organic eggs. Will Scores on Doors shut him down? And the answer is “No” because it is only worth 4 points. The result is a 4-star rating, but chances are their clients will care more about the “organic” in his name than missing star. What they aren’t aware of is the extra organic in the burger.

But typically these outbreaks take more than dirty eggs or contaminated eggs. In the case of The Burger Bar in Albury, high temperatures were a contributing factor. The eggs weren’t stored in the fridge, and may have caused the eggs to sweat. This compromises the seal and increases the chance of bacteria making its way into the egg.

But currently whole eggs are NOT classified as potentially hazardous foods (foods containing eggs are, but not whole eggs) and so in theory a restaurant can’t be penalised for leaving eggs out in 40° heat.

The big one, however, that they can be pinged on is not refrigerating the mayonaise or egg containing product once it has been made. That’s potentially 8 points and an automatic failure.

In theory, they could be pinged fornot washing their hands AFTER handling the eggs though technically check 18 doesn’t mention it.

My prediction is that the standards will change to make specific mention on the handling of eggs, and then the Food Premises Assessment Report will have a specific check for them, and it will be worth 1/4/8 points.

And my conclusion is that Scores on Doors will NOT protect against egg contamination until those changes occur.