Know which country in the UK your eggs come from with this simple trick

"An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar..." the joke has as many incarnations as there are shades of green, but did you know that you can spot the difference between English/Welsh eggs, Scottish eggs and Northern Irish eggs just by looking at the codes?


All eggs within Europe must follow a universal coding system, this incorporates "Production Method," "Country of Origin" and "Producer Code." This helps assure customers of the origin of their eggs.


Interestingly, the producer code in the UK can tell you whether your eggs come from England/Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.


Production method codes are universal in Europe:


• 0 = Organic

• 1 = Free range

• 2 = Barn

• 3 = Colony Cage


Here's a quick guide to egg labelling in the British Isles:


English/Welsh eggs have a 5 digit producer code, this is defined by the Egg Marketing Inspectorate of APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency). British eggs on sale in retail can be produced under the British Lion scheme or the Laid In Britain Eggs scheme (LIBE), these are shown on the side of eggs as either a Lion or a Union Flag and may also be on the box your purchase them in.


English/Welsh Egg labelling (Image credit: Agroisolab UK/Charlie Watkinson)

Scottish eggs have a 3 digit producer code, this is defined by the Egg Marketing Inspectorate of the Scottish Egg Poultry Unit (EPU). British eggs on sale in retail can be produced under the British Lion scheme or the Laid In Britain Eggs scheme (LIBE), these are shown on the side of eggs as either a Lion or a Union Flag and may also be on the box your purchase them in.



Scottish egg labelling (Image credit: Agroisolab UK/Charlie Watkinson)

Northern Irish Egg labelling (Image credit: Agroisolab UK/Charlie Watkinson

Northern Irish eggs have a 3 digit producer code, even though there are 4 numbers on the egg! For Northern Irish eggs, the first number is always a number 9. The producer code is defined by the Egg Marketing Inspectorate of DARD (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Northern Ireland). British eggs on sale in retail can be produced under the British Lion scheme or the Laid In Britain Eggs scheme (LIBE), these are shown on the side of eggs as either a Lion or a Union Flag and may also be on the box your purchase them in.



Northern Irish Egg labelling (Image credit: Agroisolab UK/Charlie Watkinson)

Producer codes - allowing you to trace your eggs back to farm


The producer code helps egg inspectors trace eggs back to the specific farm the eggs were produced on. If you really care about where your eggs are produced here are some great resources:


Lion Egg Farms website

Sainsbury's Egg Tracker

Chippindale "Where's Yours From?" tracker

Laid in Britain Eggs "Know your codes!"


Isotope testing eggs - taking traceability to the next step


Isotope testing eggs supports origin labelling claims and provides supporting evidence from analysis the product is from the declared country of origin. Tested samples of eggs are compared to a database of eggs to determine whether they are likely to originate from that particular origin.


To give you an idea of how this works, take a look at this Deuterium/Hydrogen isotope map (isoscape) for eggs in the British Isles. This map was created using a reduced reference dataset, though illustrates the difference in isotope region in the British Isles.




15 views

1 Welburn Business Park

Welburn

Malton

North Yorkshire

YO60 7EP

+44 (0)1653 619444

©2018 AGROISOLAB UK

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Google+ Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon