Following a number of food safety issues linked to eggs produced in Europe, British Lion egg processors are warning retailers, food manufacturers and caterers that they are potentially putting themselves at risk by specifying non-UK egg products.
The British Lion Code lays down specific processing standards and targets, and covers all systems of production. There are no equivalent food safety standards for processed egg outside the UK.
Systems, such as KAT, seen by some as a non-UK alternative to Lion, rely mainly on BRC “or equivalent” approval, do not define processing standards and do not cover all systems of production.
Ian Jones, Chairman of British Lion egg processors, says: “There is a common misconception within the industry that non-UK processed egg can offer similar guarantees of food safety to those products produced under the British Lion mark. When you move away from the controls and guaranteed standards of the British Lion mark, the risk becomes greater. There is a common misconception that pasteurised egg is always safe - over the past few years that has proven not to be the case with non-UK products.
The Government’s Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) has raised concerns about non-UK egg products, highlighting three separate cases involving Salmonella in imported egg products, and noting that pasteurised egg can carry a food safety risk. The report confirmed that the risk from domestically produced egg products will be lower.
“Specifying British Lion egg products is a simple way to be reassured that the egg has been produced to the highest standards of food safety.”