Last week saw the launch of a new version of the British Lion Code of Practice, marking the 15th anniversary of the Code and the return of the ‘little Lion' to British eggs.
Since November 1998, £100m has been invested by the UK egg industry in the British Lion scheme, two million Lion eggs have been tested and more than 50,000 audits have been carried out; egg consumption is now back to its highest level since the original salmonella crisis 25 years ago.
To maintain the very highest levels of food safety, version seven of The Lion Code of Practice has been launched. At more than 200 pages in length, and with more than 700 auditable criteria, it is the most comprehensive yet, consolidating the very latest scientific, veterinary and food safety advice on producing and handling eggs.
Elements of the new criteria includes: hygiene monitoring programmes to be completed before replacement birds are taken onto farms, stringent controls on rodents and lists of all authorised disinfectants as well as an increased number of flock inspections and earlier access to range for free range hens.
Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council (pictured), said: "The British Lion scheme is one of the world's greatest food industry success stories. The introduction of the Lion Code of Practice 15 years ago has effectively eliminated Salmonella and restored consumer confidence in British eggs, with consumption now at the highest level for more than two decades.
"The launch of the latest version of the Code is the culmination of years of work and the improvements to the standards maintains the Lion scheme's pre-eminence among food assurance schemes."