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50 years of british lion eggs

Facts and Figures


A lot has happened in the world of eggs in the last 50 years!

1953 – Eggs come off rationing.

1957 – The British Egg Marketing Board begins trading in June - its aim is to bring stability to the market and give consumers a regular supply of high quality eggs at reasonable prices.

1957 – The British Lion mark is introduced and eggs are required to be stamped with their specific grade and packing station number.

1960s – ‘Go to work on an egg’ TV advertising campaign is launched.

1960s – UK egg consumption peaks at nearly 5 per person per week.

1960s – Emergence of 'cholesterol hypothesis', linking diet to increased blood cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. As a result, dietary cholesterol in foods like eggs was linked directly to an increased risk of heart disease (this is now recognised to have been a gross oversimplification).

1971 – The British Egg Marketing Board is replaced by the Eggs Authority, a statutory body.

1973 – The accession period commences for the UK’s entry into the EEC. Eggs became subject to the EEC Egg Marketing Regulations, governing quality standards, grade sizing, labelling and packaging.

1986 – The Egg Authority is abolished & The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) is set up, funded by the industry on a voluntary basis. 

1988 – In December Health Minister Edwina Currie begins a crisis in the egg industry when she announces that most UK egg production is affected by salmonella. Egg sales drop by 60% overnight.

1990s – General acceptance that for most people the intake of saturated fat is a more significant risk factor for coronary heart disease than dietary cholesterol.

1998 – The Lion mark is reintroduced to signify British eggs produced to higher standards of food safety including vaccination of hens against salmonella, a ‘best before’ date stamped on the egg shell and full traceability of hens, eggs and feed.

1998 – Delia Smith’s ‘How to Cook’ programme features a recipe for boiling the perfect egg, sparking a huge increase in sales of eggs.

1999 – ‘Eggs. Fast food. And good for you.’ advertising campaign launches.

2000s – New evidence emerging of the additional nutritional benefits of eggs.

2001 – The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food congratulates the egg industry on the salmonella vaccination programme, an integral part of the Lion scheme.

2003 – The Atkins diet hits the headlines helping to boost egg sales.

2004 – Food Standards Agency survey of 28,000 UK-produced eggs finds none contain salmonella.

2007 - New satiety research suggests that eating eggs for breakfast can help people lose weight

2007 - Egg consumption increasing again


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