British Lion egg processors have issued a warning to food manufacturers, retailers and caterers about the risks involved with using imported eggs and egg products, following the release of sales statistics showing a rise in imports in the first half of 2013.
Government data for January to May 2013 has revealed an increase in imported egg products to 1.3 million cases, the equivalent of 468 million eggs, from 1.2 million cases in the same period in 2012.
Ian Jones, chairman of British Lion egg processors, said: "Market disruption, caused by the conventional cage ban, drove some operators to look abroad for egg products in 2012 but availability of top quality British Lion egg products has now been restored so this is an alarming trend. It is even more surprising when, after the horse meat scandal, consumer interest in British and responsibly-sourced ingredients, is at an all-time high.
"The risks involved with using imported eggs and egg products are numerous and very real and should not be taken lightly. In addition to the safety issues such as such as salmonella and dioxin contamination that have been well documented, confusion around the translation of certain terminology when importing eggs and egg products, particularly between free range and barn egg, can make the sourcing process problematic."
"However, these risks are easily avoidable. Using British Lion eggs with the Lion logo on packaging is an easy way to reassure consumers, guarantee responsible sourcing and highlight the quality of food products" Jones concluded.