13 January 1999
Egg producer beats inspectors

By Poultry World staff

WILTSHIRE free-range egg producer Martin Pitt can carry on refusing to stamp his eggs after winning a court case brought by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF).

MAFF had claimed that a laying date should be stamped on each egg, claiming that an indication of freshness on the box was not enough.

But Devizes magistrates ruled there was no case to answer on one charge and dismissed the second, awarding costs estimated at £15,000.

“I am not out of pocket, but it has taken a lot of my time to continue to put a 72-hour laid period on the box and nothing on the eggs,” said Mr Pitt.

Mr Pitt adheres to a European regulation of putting a “best before” date on the egg boxes, but refuses to change his practice on date of lay.

Bruce Pattern, MAFFs chief egg inspector said: “This particular action culminated after quite a lengthy period of trying to find an alternative.”