egg facts

to know them is to love them...

Eggs are packed with a range of nutrients including protein, essential vitamins A, D, E, and B group as well as minerals iron, phosphorus and zinc. They're relatively low in saturated fat, making them a healthy fast food for all the family. They're low in calories with only around 80 kcals per medium egg - so they are great if you're on a diet, especially combined with vegetables and salads as part of healthy balanced meals!

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods money can buy. They contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals and protein. In particular, they contain B vitamins that perform many vital functions in the body and are especially rich in vitamin B2 riboflavin, important in the release of energy in the body, and vitamin B12 needed for normal blood formation.

Eggs are a source of vitamin D, which is involved in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and is necessary for bone health. They also contain vitamin A - essential for normal growth and development and vitamin E that is necessary for cell protection from the damage caused by free radicals.

Eggs contain many essential minerals, in particular phosphorus, essential for healthy teeth and bones, as well as iron, which is essential for red blood cell formation and zinc, for the normal function of the immune system.

Trace elements are also present in eggs, especially iodine, required to make thyroid hormones, and selenium, an important antioxidant. Antioxidants work by preventing the damage caused by uncontrolled oxidation in the body and are believed to help protect against diseases such as heart disease and some cancers.

Eggs are a great source of choline. Although not an essential nutrient, because it can be made by the body, dietary choline has become the focus of recent interest because of its role in brain function. Studies in animals suggest that choline intake during pregnancy might influence development of the baby's brain in the uterus, but this has not been proven in humans. For more information on the health benefits of eggs go to: www.nutritionandeggs.co.uk www.enc-online.org

Lion Quality Mark

The Lion Quality mark on egg shells and egg boxes means that the eggs have been produced to the highest standards of food safety.

The Lion Quality Code of Practice was launched in 1998 and includes compulsory vaccination against Salmonella Enteritidis of all pullets destined for Lion egg-producing flocks, independent auditing, improved traceability of eggs and a "best-before" date stamped on the shell and pack, as well as on-farm and packing station hygiene controls.

The Lion Quality mark, which is a registered trademark, can only be used by subscribers to the BEIC on eggs which have been produced in accordance with UK and EU law and the Lion Quality Code of Practice.

Approximately 85% of UK eggs are now produced to Lion Quality standards.

Since its introduction in 1998, the Lion mark has been extremely successful so much so that, in 2001 a Government committee (the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food) produced a report highlighting the effectiveness of poultry vaccination in reducing human salmonella cases by half.

This has since been reinforced by the Food Standards Agency which has confirmed the success of the UK egg industry in overcoming salmonella in eggs. In its survey, published in 2004, it tested more than 28,000 UK-produced eggs and no salmonella was found inside any of them.

The status of UK egg production as among the safest in the world was confirmed in a report by the European Food Safety Authority published in 2007. Several EU countries reported levels of salmonella of public health significance on their flock holdings of more than 50%, while the UK figure was only 8%. The vaccination programme stipulated in the Lion Code of Practice ensures additional protection against salmonella for British Lion eggs.

Source: britegg.co.uk