24 May 2002

Lion egg branding is no-salmonella cert

GREAT strides have been made in controlling salmonella since Edwina Currie made her infamous statement about most UK layer flocks being contaminated, thanks to the British Lion salmonella eradication programme launched in 1998.

Latest independent figures show, over the past two years, more than 150,000 Lion Quality eggs have been independently tested and all were salmonella free. Vaccination against salmonella has played a major part, explains Amanda Cryer of the British Egg Information Service.

"Lion egg producers follow a code of practice which includes vaccination of hens against salmonella and printing a best before date on the shell. Major supermarkets specify Lion eggs, which now account for 75% of UK eggs."

Until about three years ago, consumers were concerned about egg safety and sales were in decline. But following advertising campaigns promoting Lion eggs, they are now more relaxed about eating them, explained Mrs Cryer. "The advertising campaign has been successful. Over the past two years, egg sales have increased by 5% a year."

Egg producers spend £4m/year via a levy on advertising, which, having put across basic safety messages, will now focus on building egg sales by promoting recipes which include them.

"When people think eggs they think fried or boiled. The new campaign and recipe leaflets will promote more exciting quick and healthy meals." &#42

Eggs sold with Lion branding are salmonella-free, says Amanda Cryer.