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Egg displays are no yolk, butchers warned

04 August 2010

The British Egg Industry Council has warned butchers’ shops to take eggs out of shop windows. Summer heat is likely to lead to degradation of the quality of eggs kept in direct sunlight.

Eggs should also be stored correctly (dry and out of direct sunlight) to minimise the risk from salmonella, should this be present.

If eggs containing salmonella are stored incorrectly, this will lead to the salmonella present multiplying rapidly, which increases the health threat to consumers. British Lion eggs have been extensively tested for salmonella and, in the most recent Food Standards Agency tests, salmonella was not recovered from inside any British Lion eggs.

In addition, although British Lion eggs carry a best-before date on the shell, there is no legal requirement to date-stamp eggs and, unless stock is rotated carefully, both the quality and safety of eggs may be impaired.

The British Egg Industry Council recommends:
· Buying British Lion eggs to minimise the risk of salmonella and ensure the eggs are date-stamped
· Storing eggs at a constant temperature; below 20°C
· Keeping eggs dry and out of direct sunlight;
· Handling eggs as little as possible, as this may cause the eggs to deteriorate;
· Taking care when storing trays on top of each other as this may cause the eggs to crack.

British Egg Industry Council Chairman, Andrew Parker, said: “It is good practice to store eggs at a consistent temperature below 20°C. While we appreciate that it looks nice to have eggs in the window, this is not a good idea, particularly in hot temperatures.”

Tom Humphrey, Professor of Food Safety at the University of Liverpool says: “It is essential for the protection of customers that butchers take all reasonable steps to control salmonella. One way of reducing the risk is to ensure that eggs are stored at an even temperature below 20°C. Storing eggs in direct sunlight can create conditions inside eggs that are ideal for salmonella to grow if it is present. This is especially important with eggs from hens that have not been vaccinated against salmonella.”

British Lion eggs are produced to a strict Code of Practice to ensure the highest standards of food safety and full traceability of hens, eggs and feed. All British Lion eggs come from British hens vaccinated against salmonella and are date stamped for freshness.


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