The British Egg Industry Council is calling for stronger deterrents for food fraud following the news that an egg trader in the Netherlands convicted of fraudulently selling contaminated eggs as fit for human consumption has been fined just EUR30,000.
The egg trader from Mijnsheerenland in Zuid-Holland was also found guilty of selling battery eggs as free range. Inspections at the company’s warehouse found eggs stamped with fake registration numbers, so their origin could not be determined.
Andrew Joret, British Egg Industry Council Chairman, said: “This is a serious offence, with potentially serious food safety implications, so while it’s good to see the producer brought to account for their actions, a relatively small fine serves very little purpose as a preventative measure. There simply has to be stronger deterrents in place to discourage food fraud and I would strongly urge UK food businesses to look for the Lion.
“Food safety scares linked to non-UK eggs is a recurring issue so we hope it will act as a reminder for more caterers and consumers to look for the additional food safety standards of Lion eggs, which are fully traceable.
“The independently audited British Lion scheme ensures the highest standards of food safety and has a number of stringent processes in place to ensure full trace-ability. These include mass balance checks, additional auditing, a database of egg movements and on-farm marking.
“The British Lion scheme has effectively eliminated Salmonella from British Lion eggs. In 2017 the Food Standards Agency confirmed that Lion eggs are the only ones that are safe to be consumed runny, or even raw, by everyone including vulnerable groups.”