British Lion eggs welcomes report calling for food safety controls on egg imports
British Lion eggs has welcomed the recommendations of a report highlighting “significant” food quality risks from the import of certain food products, including eggs, from Europe and is calling on retailers and foodservice operators to choose the guaranteed standards of British Lion eggs to protect consumers.
British Lion eggs have been produced to the world’s most comprehensive egg safety Code of Practice and are approved by the FSA to be eaten runny by those in vulnerable groups.
The joint report from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has called for official assurance from countries exporting food items to the UK that they meet the UK’s high standards.
Andrew Joret, British Egg Industry Council Chairman, says: “British Lion eggs fully endorses the finding of this important report. There have been ongoing food safety issues associated with non-UK eggs for many years and it is essential that effective food safety controls are in place for imports to ensure British consumer are protected from any potential risks, particularly vulnerable groups.
“This report confirms that the current controls on the import of eggs are not sufficient and until they are, any operator choosing to sell imported eggs is taking a gamble with the health of their customers.
“We strongly urge responsible businesses to ensure that they are sourcing British Lion eggs, which are clearly marked on the packaging and the shell, to ensure that they are selling and serving safe eggs.”
The joint ‘FSA and FSS Our Food 2021, An annual review of food standards across the UK’, report highlights two particular areas of concern.
Firstly there has been a fall in the level of local authority inspections of food businesses. The situation is in the process of being repaired – in particular in food hygiene inspections of cafes and restaurants – but progress is being constrained by resource and the availability of qualified professionals. The second is in relation to the import of food from the EU. To enhance levels of assurance on higher-risk EU food like meat, dairy and eggs, and food and feed that has come to the UK via the EU, it is essential that improved controls are put in place to the timescale that the UK Government has set out (end 2023).
The longer the UK operates without assurance from the exporting country that products meet the UK’s high food and feed safety standards the less confident we can be that we can effectively identify potential safety incidents. It is vital that the UK has the ability to prevent entry of unsafe food and identify and respond to changing risks. Although we have considered these challenges carefully and put other arrangements within our control in place, they are not, in our view, sufficient. We are therefore committed to working with other government departments to ensure that the introduction of these improved import controls provides high levels of protection for UK consumers.