Consumer demand for the use of British egg in products has increased in the wake of the fipronil contamination scandal, according to British Lion Egg Processors.
The organisation, which represents the British egg industry, commissioned research that showed the proportion of UK shoppers saying British eggs should always be used in prepared foods has risen from two-thirds to three-quarters in recent months.
The increase follows a raft of product withdrawals across Europe that originated with the use of broad-spectrum insecticide fipronil on farms in the Netherlands to combat parasites on chickens.
Fipronil is not authorised for use in food-producing animals, although the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said it is very unlikely there is any risk to public health from consuming affected products, and that withdrawals have been precautionary.
Sandwiches, liquid egg, cake mixes and, most recently, Pidy profiteroles have been among the affected products.
The British Lion research also showed that more than 80% of shoppers now want egg country of origin shown on the packaging of prepared foods, up from 70% before news broke of the fipronil contamination.
“The results are clear - the fipronil contamination has underlined how important the use of British eggs in prepared foods is to consumers,” said British Lion Egg Processors chairman Ian Jones.
He urged food manufacturers, caterers and retailers to use British Lion eggs and put the ‘Made with British Lion eggs’ logo on packs.
“It is clear shoppers are increasingly concerned about the ingredients used in manufactured food and now, more than ever, need reassurance that their food is produced using quality British ingredients that are produced to high standards of food safety,” he added.
“The longer these inconsistent standards are allowed to happen, the more disappointed consumers are likely to become.”