A new survey, launched to coincide with October's Crack an Egg Month, has highlighted that 55% of children think that the chicken came before the egg! Almost half (48%) of children can't spell "yolk" and 42% of children over 11 said that they didn't have a clue how to scramble an egg.

The results also showed that one in 15 children never eats eggs, despite all the recent good news surrounding them. Sales are up for the first time in over a decade, the cholesterol myth has been exploded and the Lion Quality salmonella vaccination programme has been responsible for a massive decline in human cases of Salmonella enteritidis PT4 food poisoning.

The survey revealed that although three quarters of children eat eggs weekly, they possess little knowledge about the nutritional value of eggs. The vast majority of children are unaware that eggs are beneficial to health. Many are ignorant about eggs as a whole with 57% not knowing that eggs contain vitamins and minerals and a third didn't know that eggs are a valuable source of protein.

Andrew Parker, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council on whose behalf the survey was carried out said: "While the survey looked at some of the fun elements associated with eggs, it also covered the more serious nutritional issues. With some 80% of children not understanding that eggs are good for you, the results of the survey highlight the need for children to be educated in the benefits of a balanced diet.

"The great thing is that a third of children want to eat more eggs, so as part of Crack an Egg Month, we are launching a children's section to our website which we hope will help encourage children to eat eggs as part of a healthy diet."

There were marked regional differences in the survey with 56% of Scottish children naming eggs as a nutritious food, as opposed to six per cent in the West Midlands. The Scots too stormed the spelling stakes, with 83% spelling Yolk correctly, the West Midlands and the North East both fared poorly, scoring only 28% and 29% respectively. The good Scottish performance comes despite appearing near the bottom of the table for children who had not eaten an egg for a week.

A summary of the key facts are attached and full copies of the survey are available on 020 7761 1728.