The British Egg Industry Council have confirmed that runny eggs are now safe for at risk groups, such as pregnant women, babies and elderly people to eat with the advice changed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The new advice follows a year-long risk assessment by the advisory committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food and is the result of extensive food safety measures introduced within the British Lion Code of Practice since its launch in 1998.
Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, which runs the British Lion scheme, welcomed the new advice, and said: “This is a real success story for the UK egg industry. Our producers have maintained the highest standards for two decades to ensure the superior safety of British Lion eggs and we are delighted that the FSA has now confirmed that these eggs are safe enough for even vulnerable groups to eat runny or even raw, so long as they bear the British Lion mark.
“We know that the previous advice has 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 advice is particularly good news for these groups and will also enable care homes to put many traditional egg dishes back on their menus.”
Heather Hancock, chairman of the FSA, commented: “It’s good news that now even vulnerable groups can safely eat UK eggs without needing to hard-boil them, so long as they bear the British Lion mark. The FSA has thoroughly reviewed the scientific evidence about the safety of these eggs, and we’re confident that we can now change our advice to consumers.
“The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers. The measures they’ve taken, from vaccination of hens through to improving hygiene on farms and better transportation, have dramatically reduced salmonella levels in UK hens.”
Alongside the change in advice from the FSA the British Egg Industry Council has released a report entitled ‘wake up to eggs’ that shows that eggs are the favourite breakfast choice of consumers when eating out, with 63% choosing them.
The research produced by Kantar highlights strong demand for the availability of traditional egg-based breakfast options when eating out, with 42% of consumers saying that a Full English (with eggs) is the favourite choice.
Joret concluded: “Rising consumer demand for breakfast overall, combined with a consumer desire to see more egg dishes on menus, make eggs a highly profitable option. There is a clear opportunity for caterers to review menus to make the most of the opportunity.
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