Everything you need to know about egg safety. Learn about the British Lion mark, keep eggs in the fridge and check their freshness before you eat.
Every lovely, free range happy egg you buy is stamped with a British Lion mark. If you’ve ever wondered what that’s all about, you’ve come to the right place. The egg safety scheme was introduced in 1998 to reduce cases of salmonella food poisoning caused by eggs. It’s worked.
In fact, the British Lion is the UK’s most successful food safety mark, with over 90% of UK eggs now produced within its strict guidelines. They include a guarantee that hens and eggs are British, as well as that all hens are vaccinated against salmonella and kept to higher welfare standards than the law demands.
Every British Lion egg also gets a unique number, which acts as a passport and means every egg, hen and bag of feed is completely traceable, every step of the way. The result? Salmonella in the UK has been virtually eradicated. It goes without saying, at the happy egg co., we’re fully on board.
At the happy egg co. we always go by the British Lion code on egg safety, which recommends keeping eggs in the fridge. It really is the best way to keep them fresh.
Take the eggs you’re going to use out of the fridge 30 minutes before you need them so they can come up to room temperature. Wash your hands before and after you handle eggs and if they’re cracked or broken, throw them away.
Make sure you check their best before date too. Every British Lion egg is stamped with one and you’ll find it on the box as well. The golden rule is, if your eggs are past their date, don’t use them.
Wherever you store your eggs remember their shells are porous, so if you sit them next to something with a strong smell, it can affect their taste.
Ever heard of the fresh egg test? It’s a fun way to find out just how fresh your eggs really are – and all you need is a bowl of water.
Gently pop your egg (still in its shell!) in the water and wait to see what it does. If it lies horizontally on the bottom, it’s nice and fresh. If it stands up diagonally or vertically on the bottom it’s still fresh but needs eating soon. If it floats up to the top it’s past its best and ready for the bin.
Why? Well, egg shells are porous and over time they take in more and more air. By the time the shell has taken in enough to float up to the top, the egg itself will have turned stale.
Nowadays, thanks to the scheme like the British Lion egg safety mark, it’s safer than ever to eat eggs.
In 2017 the Food Standards Agency updated its advice on egg consumption and no longer advises against the consumption of raw eggs, even by vulnerable groups, provided that they are produced under the British Lion scheme.
Remember: it’s even more important when using raw eggs that the eggs are fresh. Read more about egg safety.