The Ministry of Health of Israel has concluded that Salmonella prevention programs are inadequate to protect consumers of table eggs. Accordingly, the Minister of Agriculture has granted permission to import eggs presumably from the E.U. on a duty-free basis to maintain reasonable retail prices for consumers.
Following a report by Dr. Sagit Nagar, Head of Poultry Diseases in the Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, a high-level of Salmonella (serotype not specified but presumed to be SE) has infected many of the farms that supply the market.
Recently the Government of Israel offered substantial support to producers to eradicate Salmonella infection, but the association representing the farmers did not agree to the terms and conditions of the grant.
It is noted that egg production in Israel is derived from numerous small-scale family operated units with relatively primitive facilities. The unacceptable prevalence of Salmonella infection is enigmatic given the high standard of poultry veterinary resources in the nation and it is possible that the problem of salmonellosis is more socio-political than epidemiologic.