Call for stronger deterrent after 'relatively small' egg fine

21 February 2019, Katie Coyne

The British egg lobby group wants more effective food fraud deterrents following news that a Dutch trader selling contaminated eggs as fit for human consumption was fined €30,000, which it argued is not enough.

The egg trader, from Mijnsheerenland in Zuid-Holland, was also found to be selling battery eggs as free range. Inspections at the company’s warehouse uncovered eggs stamped with fake registration numbers so their origin could not be determined.

Andrew Joret, the chair of the British Egg Industry Council, 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."

British Lion egg processors also issued a warning on Monday that post-Brexit, whether or not a deal is in place, the industry will face egg supply issues and this could have a wider impact on other products too.

This is because the UK is a net importer of eggs. At any one time, up to 10,000 products on supermarket shelves can contain eggs as an ingredient.

Uncertainty around tariff levels and new paperwork requirements are two issues the egg industry faces. It said the ramifications of Brexit are ‘unlikely to be resolved quickly’ and that food businesses would need to work closely with the processing industry on long-term strategies.​

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