Eggs in manufacturing

Source: BEIC

The  British Egg Industry Council’s updated standard comes amid concerns over the safety of imported eggs used as food ingredients 

The British Egg Industry Council has launched an enhanced code of practice for the production of British Lion Quality egg products.

Version three of the standard embraced “the latest food safety advances”, including 64 new criteria, and recognises the fast-moving innovation within the sector. It comes amid ongoing food safety outbreaks linked to eggs and egg products produced outside the UK.

More than 30 years after the launch of the processing code in 1995, it remained the only recognised industry standard for processed eggs anywhere in the world, the BEIC said.

It set standards across all systems of production, protecting eggs from the moment they are laid to the time they are delivered to food manufacturers and foodservice operators, it added.

And in addition to the stringent standards of the British Lion shell egg code of practice, which includes over 700 auditable points, processors of Lion egg products must adhere to a further wide range of additional standards.

“With food safety incidents continuing to be linked to eggs and egg products produced outside of the UK, maintaining the highest standards remains as important now as it ever was,” said BEIC CEO Gary Ford.

“For more than 25 years, the code of practice has provided peace of mind, ensuring retailers, food manufacturers, foodservice operators, wholesalers, and other organisations can safely serve UK consumers British egg products without the risk, food miles and challenges of traceability involved in importing egg products.”

Version three pushed the standards “even further”, incorporating new industry advice and providing specific measures and controls, particularly around some of the new and more innovative products, “to ensure that the British public gets the quality, safe and domestically produced egg products they expect and deserve”, Ford said.

There was a common assumption that once an egg had been pasteurised that it was automatically safe, “but there’s a lot more to it, especially where some egg products, such as egg white, are heat treated”, said food safety expert Sterling Crew, president of the Institute of Food Science & Technology.

“With ongoing food safety incidents involving eggs and egg products produced outside the UK, there are potential risks associated with egg products that aren’t produced to the standards of the British Lion code of practice,” he added.

“I will always insist my colleagues, customers, and friends ask for British Lion egg products if they want food safety assurance. The code of gives assurance on not only on egg safety, but also on quality, authenticity, provenance and welfare.”