How do you like your eggs? Safe, thanks

Following an insightful discussion around crisis management at Food Integrity 2022, Andrew Joret, Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, highlights the robust food standards on which the Lion scheme is founded.

Eggs are in the news again with a Salmonella outbreak. But this time the culprit is a chocolate, rather than chicken, one. It serves as a timely reminder that food safety is the single most important factor in food preparation, and in the most extreme cases, life literally depends on it.

Chocolate aside, an egg’s an egg, isn’t it? Instantly recognisable in shape, texture and taste the world over. However, this assumption can be dangerous, failing to recognise the huge difference in the care and attention that goes into producing some eggs over others.

Fortunately, there are some universal standards – every commercial egg sold to the public or caterers can be identified by origin and method of production. That’s fantastic and will help enormously in the event of an issue, but it won’t prevent one.

It won’t tell you anything about the food safety standards throughout the chain and whether you are more or less at risk. Unless, of course, it is produced to the standards of the British Lion, where the familiar little red lion – one the most recognised food safety symbols, that has appeared on more than 200 billion eggs since it was launched – shows the egg has been produced to world-leading food safety standards. This symbol demonstrates that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recognises it as being safe for all groups in society, including those that are vulnerable.