Since the Lion mark’s launch in November 1998, more than 130 billion Lion eggs have been sold, more than £100 million has been invested by the UK egg industry in the British Lion scheme, more than 2 million Lion eggs have been tested and more than 50,000 audits have been carried out. The Lion scheme is the only UK egg-specific assurance scheme that meets the stringent standards of the ISO 17065 international accreditation standard.
In January 2016 the Government's Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food reported that 'There has been a major reduction in the microbiological risk from Salmonella in UK hen shell eggs......This is especially true for those eggs produced under the Lion Code.' The Food Standards Agency is currently planning to update its advice on egg safety, and is proposing to say that British Lion eggs are safe enough for even vulnerable groups to consume when raw or runny.
The wide-ranging Lion Code of Practice covers the entire production chain and incorporates food safety controls above and beyond those outlined in current UK and EU legislation, including:
- All Lion hens and eggs guaranteed British
- Hens vaccinated against Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium
- Registration and a unique 'passport' system, ensuring complete traceability of hens, eggs and feed
- Increased hygiene controls and salmonella testing of all flocks in the integrated egg production chain, in excess of the National Control Programme, including turnaround swabbing of breeding, pullet rearing and laying flocks; and packing centre hygiene swabbing
- Regular egg testing (not included in National Control Programme)
- Stringent feed controls, including production of feed to Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS) standards
- Lion Quality eggs stamped on farm with the farm code and production method
- Best-before date and Lion logo printed on the shell of Lion Quality eggs as well as on the egg box
- Higher animal welfare requirements than required by UK and EU law, including additional ranging space, lower stocking densities in multi-tier systems, strategies to minimise feather-pecking and the same maximum flock sizes as set out under the RSPCA’s welfare standards (applied through RPSCA Assured) for non-cage production
- Regular independent auditing, including unannounced audits, of all producers and packers in the Lion scheme, in accordance with the ISO 17065 standard
The Lion Quality mark, which is a registered trademark, can only be used by subscribers to the British Egg Industry Council on eggs which have been produced in accordance with UK and EU law and the Lion Quality Code of Practice.
Download our Lion Code of Practice summary for further information.