UK Egg Suppliers Accused Of Fraud

Police are currently investigating claims that up to 30 million eggs, supplied to British shops and supermarkets, may have been passed off illegally as free range.
Sales of free range eggs, which sell in shops for double the price of those from caged birds, have been increasing swiftly partly because ethical consumers want to switch to eggs produced at higher animal welfare standards.
Last month three people were arrested after police raided Heart of England Eggs, a packaging and wholesale distribution business at Bromsgrove, near Coventry, and two nearby residential properties .
One of three directors of the company Keith Owen was among those arrested over alleged conspiracy to defraud but was released without charge on police bail.
In the absence of Mr Owen, the general manager Richard Light denied knowledge of the claims . “These volumes are astronomical. We are a small company . It takes us three years to handle 30 million eggs . There must be a lot of other companies involved,” he said, adding that the company distributed to small shops and only one supermarket.
The Food Standards Agency has advised people to cook their eggs thoroughly to avoid any threat of food poisoning. The food watchdog estimates that salmonella is present in one in 30 boxes of imported eggs on sale in England. The rate rises to about one in every eight boxes among eggs that are brought in from Spain .
The Agency told reporters that most of the contaminated eggs came from only three farms in Spain, while France had the second highest contamination rate.

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