British Lion unveils version 3 of code

Published on : 27 Jun 2024

The new standard includes 64 new criteria that recognises fast-moving innovation within the sector

The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has launched an enhanced Code of Practice for the Production of Lion Quality Egg Products.

The new standard embraces the latest food safety advances, including 64 new criteria, and recognises the fast-moving innovation within the sector. The latest update, Version 3, comes amid ongoing food safety outbreaks linked to eggs and egg products produced outside of the UK.

More than 30 years after the launch of the processing Code in 1995, it remains the only recognised industry standard for processed eggs anywhere in the world. It sets standards across all systems of production, protecting eggs from the moment they are laid to the time they are delivered to food manufacturers and foodservice operators.

In addition to the stringent standards of the British Lion shell egg Code of Practice, which includes over 700 auditable points, processors of Lion Egg Products must adhere to a further wide range of additional standards.

Gary Ford, Chief Executive of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “With food safety incidents continuing to be linked to eggs and egg products produced outside of the UK, maintaining the highest standards remains as important now as it ever was.

“For more than 25 years, the Code of Practice for the Production of Lion Quality egg products has provided peace of mind, ensuring retailers, food manufacturers, foodservice operators, wholesalers, and other organisations can safely serve UK consumers British egg products without the risk, food miles and challenges of traceability involved in importing egg products.
“I am proud to say that Version 3 pushes the standards even further, incorporating new industry advice and providing specific measures and controls, particularly around some of the new and more innovative products, to ensure that the British public gets the quality, safe and domestically produced egg products they expect and deserve.”

The new code includes five additional members / processing sites registered. The code also includes a new section covering premises and three new product processes for poached eggs, cooked-formed eggs (omelettes), and dried eggs (whole eggs, yolks, and raw whites).

Sixty-four new controls or procedures covering egg traceability, visitors policy, labelling, expanded general food safety and quality, new plastic transit packaging cleaning/storage, expanded environmental responsibility, new analytical standards for poached / omelettes / dried egg, improved complaints reporting, notifications and documentation controls. There are also sixty-five expanded or modified controls or procedures and seventeen critical non-conformances added.

Food safety expert Sterling Crew, President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, says “The announcement of the updated Lion egg processing Code is welcomed by myself and my peers involved in food safety. There’s an assumption that once an egg has been pasteurised that it’s automatically safe but there’s a lot more to it, especially where some egg products, such as egg white, are heat treated.

“With ongoing food safety incidents involving eggs and egg products produced outside the UK, there are potential risks associated with egg products that aren’t produced to the standards of the British Lion Code of Practice, and I will always insist my colleagues, customers, and friends ask for British Lion egg products if they want food safety assurance. The code assures not only egg safety but also quality, authenticity, provenance, and welfare.”