20 April 2018 | Online since 2003

3 November 2017

BEIC Comment - November 2017


The announcement by the Food Standards Agency on 11th October of the official change in advice on serving runny, or even raw, eggs to vulnerable groups as long as they bear the Lion mark, is a cause for celebration by the industry.
We know that the previous advice had deterred many women from eating eggs when pregnant, and from giving them to their babies, as well as denying older people the pleasure and nutritional benefits of a ‘dippy egg’ and home-made mousses and mayonnaise. The change in advice will also enable care homes to put many traditional egg dishes back on their menus. It followed a detailed scientific report by the ACMSF last year, which acknowledged the huge progress in reducing levels of Salmonella in British eggs.
Our PR team garnered fantastic coverage on the day and it has since been spoken about in political circles with the chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Neil Parish MP and minister Lord Gardiner both communicating how fantastic the news was.
We have now actioned a significant campaign to exploit the opportunities that the change in advice will allow across a range of media, and we anticipate a further increase in average egg consumption in the UK this year. 
We are very proud of what the Lion Quality scheme has achieved since its launch in 1998 and a big thankyou goes to all those in the industry that has made this happen.
On AI matters, the Italian industry is being hard hit, with multiple cases of H5N8 HPAI found in the Po Valley in the north of the country. Whilst this is a different wild bird migratory route to us, it does serve as a warning that with large numbers of migratory birds now returning to over-winter in the UK, we must be on our guard.
We expect the amendment to the egg marketing regulation to go through due process in Brussels and result in free range producers having 16 weeks whereby their birds would maintain their FR status if a housing order was to be put in place. This would be on a clock-start when the pullets are transferred. We are again looking at labelling packs ‘just in case’ we should go over 16 weeks and will communicate this once finalised.