Nearly 90% of UK eggs are now produced within the Lion scheme and the British Lion is the UK's leading food safety mark with consumer recognition of more than 80% - double that of other comparable food quality marks.
In 2016, the Food Standards Agency announced a review of its advice on egg safety following a report by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) which concluded that British Lion eggs can safely be eaten runny, even by pregnant women, babies and elderly people. The report recommended that the FSA should amend its long-standing advice– that vulnerable groups should avoid raw or lightly cooked eggs – for eggs produced under the British Lion scheme or a demonstrably-equivalent comprehensive scheme. Watch the video on this page to see Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, explain what this new report means. In 2017, the Food Standards Agency formally issued its new advice.
The Lion Code has been a great British success story. Within two years of the Lion Code of Practice launching in 1998, human cases of Salmonella had reduced dramatically.
In 2001, the ACMSF produced a report highlighting the effectiveness of poultry vaccination in reducing human Salmonella cases by more than half.
The status of UK egg production as among the safest in the world was confirmed in a report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2007.
The EFSA report analysed the results of an EU-wide survey which sampled and tested the environment on egg layer flock holdings. Several countries reported levels of Salmonella of public health significance on their flock holdings of more than 50%, while the UK figure was only 8%. By 2012 figures showed that, in the UK, the level of Salmonella of public health significance in laying flocks had fallen to 0.07% and it remains very low.