Supermarket labels can be confusing. ‘Farm fresh’, for example, is a meaningless description, and the eggs could have been laid by chickens farmed in battery cages. ‘Barn eggs’ come from chickens kept inside, where there are a maximum of nine birds per square metre. ‘Free range’ egg production provides chickens with daytime access to runs covered with vegetation, with a maximum 2,500 birds per hectare.
Organic eggs are from chickens with the same privileges as free-range and are produced according to European laws on organic production. Growth promoters, artificial pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and commercial fertilisers cannot be used in the feed for organic production.
‘Best before’ date and Lion Quality mark on shell
Lion Quality eggs must carry a ‘best before’ date on the shell and on the pack. All Lion eggs must be graded with a best-before date of up to 25 days from pack (for in-line operations up to 27 days from pack), subject to such eggs meeting a maximum life of lay + 27 days, making them fresher than required by law. Most Lion Quality eggs are packed within 48 hours of lay. They must also carry the Lion Quality mark on the shed.