Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Daily Eggspress (sorry)

The dangers of salt. The wonder of cereal. The wonder of mushrooms. And now the danger of eggs.

And not just any eggs. But dirty, scrounging, come-over-here-and-work-on-the-cheap foreign eggs.

As usual with any Express story, but particularly their health ones, the headline says something the article doesn't.

The sub-head makes it absolutely clear 'cheap imports from Spain' are to blame.

And yet that's not quite the case - as journalist Louise Barnett should now as much of her article is little more than a copy-and-paste job from this Food Standards Agency press release.

Indeed, the Express even quotes the key passage:

Although there is no conclusive evidence yet, the clusters may be linked to eggs sourced from outside the UK and used in these establishments. Investigations are ongoing into a possible link to eggs sourced from an approved establishment in Spain.

So not quite what the front page claims then. Furthermore, the Health Protection Agency report adds further facts. Of the 443 cases of salmonella recorded in 2009, 144 cases are linked to 14 outbreaks. Of these:

eggs collected from catering premises in five of the outbreaks (three oriental restaurants, two cafes) were produced from the same approved establishment in Spain.

So taking a very rough estimate of ten cases per outbreak, that could mean only 50 cases of the 443 total may be linked to Spanish eggs. What the Express doesn't reveal is that 53 of the cases have been confirmed as 'indigenous'.

It would have been sensible to wait for the full results of FSA and HPA tests before splashing this all over the front of newspaper.

But the Express just can't resist a health scare story - especially one that attacks foreigners at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. This has been mentioned before - a quick google news archive search pulls up this article from 2006


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