News 1441 views update:Mar 9, 2016

UK: 'Best before' date extended for eggs

The best-before date for British Lion eggs is set to revert to the EU standard of 28 days from lay, effective from 1 June 2014, the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has announced.

The decision is a mark of the progress made by the industry in effectively eliminating salmonella from British Lion eggs, said a statement, which added that the date will still be stamped on eggs, rather than just on-pack as required by legislation.

When the original British Lion Code of Practice was introduced in 1998, the best-before date was set at 27 days – ahead of the legal maximum as an additional food safety precaution.

But following the introduction of salmonella vaccination, the risk of salmonella has reduced drastically and there is now felt to be no benefit in a shorter date.

BEIC says the extra day's life will help consumers avoid potential wastage, while the Food Standards Agency already advises that eggs can be eaten after the best-before date, as long as they are cooked thoroughly.

"Although the shorter best-before date was an important part of the original Code of Practice, the safety of Lion eggs today means that there is no need to reduce life from the EU maximum, although date-stamping the eggs themselves remains an important differentiator," said BEIC chairman Andrew Joret.

Source: Philp Clarke, Farmers Weekly

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