British egg processors have criticised the buying policies of the UK’s major supermarkets after several of them have been forced to withdraw products from sale because they contain non-UK eggs contaminated with residues of Fipronil, which is unauthorised for food use.
Ian Jones, chairman of British Lion Egg Processors, said: “The major retailers are operating to double standards when it comes to eggs. All of them stock British Lion shell eggs but they use imported eggs in many of their other foods containing eggs.”
British egg producers have reiterated the need for consumers and food producers to look for both British Lion eggs and egg products.
Ian Jones continued: “This is just the latest of a number of food safety issues connected to eggs produced outside of the UK in recent years. Consumers clearly want retailers and food manufacturers to use good quality British ingredients that are produced to high standards of food safety, but in some prepared foods this is not the case.
“As we approach Brexit, shoppers are growing increasingly concerned about the ingredients used in manufactured food and now more than ever want and deserve transparency on food packaging. The egg industry believes that this is a great opportunity for retailers to listen to the concerns of their customers and reassure them by specifying the use of British eggs and using the ‘Made with British Lion eggs’ logo on packs.”
Approximately 180 Dutch farms, including egg farms, are believed to have used a product containing Fipronil to treat red mite in poultry houses although Fipronil is banned for use around food-producing animals in the EU.
The Food Standards Agency has said that eggs have been distributed to the UK from the affected Dutch farms and may have been incorporated in other food products.
All major UK retailers stock British Lion shell eggs and tests have shown that there is no risk from British eggs.
Most eggs imported into the UK are used by caterers, or are processed for food manufacturers and other businesses for use in products with eggs as an ingredient.