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Edwina puts eggs back on the menu

01/03/2005

Sixteen years after her remarks about salmonella in eggs led her to resign her post at the Department of Health, Edwina Currie officially gives the thumbs-up to the new safety standards of British eggs by launching British Egg Week.

Mrs Currie is taking centre stage to launch a new campaign to encourage people to cook their perfect omelette, and has even helped put eggs back on the menu at the House of Commons, to mark the start of British Egg Week.

Edwina Currie is among 12 celebrity chefs, including Delia Smith and Gordon Ramsay, who have donated a recipe to a new ‘Perfect Omelette’ cookbook. The booklet is being launched at the House of Commons, where MPs will be served a week of egg dishes at restaurants throughout the Palace of Westminster. Consumers will also be encouraged to cook omelettes through promotions in retail outlets and gyms throughout the UK.

Edwina Currie was Junior Health Minister when she drew attention to a problem with salmonella in eggs in 1988. Sales of eggs fell by 60% overnight and many egg producers went out of business. Since then, however, the industry has virtually eliminated salmonella in UK eggs through a £20 million investment in the British Lion salmonella vaccination and food safety programme. Reports this year by both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Health Protection Agency (HPA) have acknowledged the huge progress made by the UK egg industry.

Edwina Currie said: "The British egg industry has spent years putting its house in order and unlike many other industries, they've done it without subsidies. I was happy to donate my recipe and lend my support to this launch. Although my omelette recipe is Spanish in origin, only British Lion eggs should be used."

Andrew Parker, Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “British eggs are now among the safest in the world and the support of Edwina Currie is the ultimate accolade for the industry, reflecting the huge progress we have made over the past decade.”