Consumers worried about food quality and safety

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers are concerned about the quality and safety of food ingredients and seek more reassurance, such as the British Lion Egg mark
Consumers are concerned about the quality and safety of food ingredients and seek more reassurance, such as the British Lion Egg mark

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More than 40% of consumers are worried about the quality and safety of ingredients in prepared food from supermarkets, according to independent research firm RPA.

The research – commissioned by British Lion Egg Processors (BLEP) – revealed chicken, beef and eggs raised the greatest concern among respondents.

There was a strong demand for British eggs, with 70% of respondents saying that prepared foods should always use British eggs.

Ian Jones, chairman of BLEP, said it was clear that consumers wanted British eggs in prepared food – such as quiches, scotch eggs or an egg sandwiches.

A whopping 90% said food packaging should display the country of origin for eggs.


“They want the packaging to state the country of origin,”​ claimed Jones. “Very little packaging provides this information and many consumers would be shocked to find that more than a third of eggs used in manufactured food products are currently imported. “

When asked what they thought about foreign eggs being used, more than 60% expressed concern.

Consumers even talked of being ‘appalled’ that this might be the case, said Jones.

“The quality of the ingredients in prepared food has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, particularly following the horse meat scandal,”​ he added.

“There have also been ongoing issues with the safety of imported eggs and egg products, with cases of salmonella and dioxin contamination reported so it’s little wonder that consumers are looking for reassurance.”

Retailers and manufacturers should specify British Lion egg products to guarantee a quality ingredient produced to the highest standards of food safety, Jones claimed.

The British Lion mark on shells means that eggs have been produced to stringent standards of food safety. The standards are set by the British Egg Industry Council under the Lion Code of Practice, which is independently audited.

Demand for British

Demand for the British Lion mark was also strong, with 78% of shoppers keen to see the use of the British Lion mark on prepared foods to provide added quality and safety reassurance.

Food firms – whose products contain eggs – should place the British Lion egg mark on their packages to certify that their products contain British eggs, Jones said.

“If your packaging also carries the British Lion mark, consumers get the reassurance they want, as well as recognising that you are supporting British producers and providing the added food safety and security of the British Lion,”​ Jones said.

Meanwhile, last year BLEP warned that the UK egg market was under threat from 12.5bn non-compliant eggs​ – laid by hens kept in battery cages.

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