The European Union has introduced stricter rules to reduce salmonella in poultry and eggs. Under the new regulations, countries will be set tougher targets for the reduction of salmonella in laying hens and all member states must eventually carry out vaccinations in flocks with more than a 10 percent prevalence of the disease.

EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou also hopes to introduce a trade ban on eggs from salmonella-infected flocks as soon as possible but must first get the approval of EU ministers. The overall target is to reduce salmonella levels in EU flocks to two percent or less.

Salmonella bacteria are frequently responsible for food-borne illnesses, with over 192,000 human cases reported in the EU in 2004, reports Reuters. National governments have six months to come up with new control procedures to achieve these targets.