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What happened to free-range eggs?

Seems like free-range eggs are not available anymore in UK, why?

It all started with a flu, you say, again?! This time is not actually COVID, you would be surprised! It is still a virus, that this time instead of infecting humans it is infecting birds, no exceptions are found at the moment. It is also called avian flu or birds flu.

Considering this new virus going around, as we have experienced lockdown in the last 2 years of our life, the birds will have now to experience something called flockdown, a lockdown for birds. Poor birds. This measure it is not only taken to make sure we have healthy birds, but also to avoid the virus to pass form birds to human and therefore create another pandemic.

free range eggs

So, going back to eggs now. Why these 2 things are connected? Well, you surely know that we get eggs from birds, mostly hens. We as human, can choose if to take care of the welfare of the chickens we get eggs from and therefore buy free-range eggs.

So, having free-range eggs is not a mandatory requirement, but for eggs to be labelled as free-range, there are some requirements that have been set up by European marketing regulation, and adopted also here in UK. The European regulation says that in order to make claims such as “free range”, hens must have continuous daytime access to runs, and more.

In UK, there is another standard, fully voluntary that goes above and beyond law in terms of eggs safety, but not only. This is the British Lion eggs standard, born mostly to reassure and protect consumers to issues such as salmonella and guiding the whole supply chain of eggs. So to help us to have a worry-free tiramisu’ (as it is done with raw eggs)! See recipe here.

The British Lion goes also above and beyond law in terms of animal welfare and safety, where hens can enjoy the outdoor or having a veranda, open for 8 hours daily for example. You can find the British Lion eggs in any supermarket in UK, and you need to look for the logo below.

British Lion celebrates years of safeguarding Britains health

In conclusion, as the birds are going to be in flockdown, they are going to lose the access to the outside, and therefore by law, they are not anymore “free range” eggs, but will get in the category of “barn eggs”. This is thought for a limited amount of time and hopefully less than 2 years. Nothing it is going change in terms of eggs nutrition power, but only on the freedom of the animals at the time being.

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