Blog: Victory for eggheads

Catherine Sleep | 21 July 2006

You run a farm Bed & Breakfast business. You also keep chickens, which, as chickens are wont to do, lay eggs. You’re allowed to sell these eggs to passers-by at the farm gate, but you’re not allowed to cook them for your guests’ breakfast. Makes no sense, does it?

Regulations covering fresh eggs state that, when used by catering establishments, they should be properly boxed and labelled 'Grade A.' This means that farms offering B&B may not cook their guests a meal that includes fresh eggs laid by their own hens, even though it is legal to sell such eggs at the farm gate. Yet clearly many guests who stay in a farm B&B would consider it a positive boon to be fed eggs laid just yards from the breakfast table.

That’s why the fabulously named Bob Salmon, food adviser for the Forum of Private Business (FPB), stepped in to point out how ludicrous this was. And indeed, for a change, the powers-that-be, in this case the UK Food Standards Agency, agreed that there was “scope for interpretation” in the EC food legislation that had given rise to this apparent anomaly. As a kind of halfway house, the FSA has agreed that B&Bs with fewer than four guest rooms may cook their own eggs for visitors, although they must inform guests that the eggs are Class A and therefore suggest they have them properly cooked.

It’s a fudge, but it gets around a ridiculous situation, at least for smaller B&Bs, so hats off to the FPB.

Forum of Private Business


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