Why should I buy Eggs carrying the Bord Bia Q Mark?
There are a number of reasons why you should choose eggs with the Q Mark.
- Firstly, you are assured that the product has been produced to the highest international standards and that this is checked regularly by Bord Bia.
- Secondly, you know where it comes from – if it carries the Origin Ireland Q Mark then you are assured that the eggs were laid and packed in the RepublicofIreland
- Thirdly, Ireland is one of only four EU countries (the other three are Scandinavian) which have an EU approved salmonella plan. This places Ireland in the world premier league in terms of salmonella prevention and control. Since the introduction of the Bord Bia Scheme over 10 years ago there has been no salmonella outbreaks in Bord Bia Quality Assured flocks.
Why Should I Trust The Bord Bia Quality Mark?
The Bord Bia Q Mark is based on standards that have been developed and refined over a number of years in consultation with scientists, academics and independent experts on a broad range of issues such as food safety, animal health and welfare, care for the environment etc. The Bord Bia Quality Assurance Board, which has responsibility for all Bord Bia’s Quality Assurance Schemes, is comprised of members with a wide range of experience and expertise including specialists in food production, veterinary medicine, regulation and retailing. In addition the Board also includes an experienced consumer representative to ensure that consumer interests are taken into account at all times.
All of the Bord Bia standards are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure compliance with changes in regulations and best practice and these standards are publicly available and published on our website. All the Bord Bia Quality Assurance standards comply to international best practice and are independently certified.
A majority of Irish shoppers say that seeing the Bord Bia Q Mark would make them more likely to buy (Source: Behaviour & Attitudes 2011).
Are The Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes Recognised Internationally?
All the Bord Bia Quality Assurance schemes are accredited to IS EN ISO 9001:2008 with the National Standards Authority of Ireland and to the European Standard EN45011 – this means that they are recognised internationally which is very important for exports. The Bord Bia schemes are themselves regularly audited to ensure that they are keeping pace with the best global standards.
How to Identify Bord Bia Quality Assured Eggs
All eggs in the Bord Bia Egg Quality Assurance Scheme carry the Bord Bia Quality assurance logo both on the packaging and on the egg itself. Before purchasing eggs consumers are advised to check the box and/or the eggs to insure that they are Bord Bia Quality Assured Eggs.
Key Aspects of the Quality Scheme
This scheme is designed to build on the general high health status of the country’s laying flock by introducing further measures of prevention and control. It is a code of best practice covering the rearing, production and packing of eggs.
Special features of the scheme include:
- All incoming stock for egg laying must have been tested negative for salmonella.
- Ongoing production must be regularly monitored for salmonella on a monthly basis.
- Only heat-treated, salmonella free feed can be used
- Management systems must ensure full traceability of eggs.
- Each egg carries the logo,The FSAI recommends Bord Bia Quality assured eggs to avoid the possibility of salmonella particularly for use in recipes that require either raw eggs or undercooked eggs. In andvisory note (www.fsai.ie) of May 2010 they advise
- Hen eggs produced under the Egg Quality Assurance Scheme, set up by Bord Bia in 1999, are subject to enhanced Salmonella spp.controls in addition to the regulatory requirements and are ink-jet marked with the Quality Assurance logo (see picture above)
- Caterers using fresh shell hen eggs in egg dishes that are not cooked thoroughly should use the safest eggs available i.e. eggs produced under the Bord Bia Egg Quality Assurance Scheme
A representative from the FSAI is a member of the Technical Committee which draws up the standards for the Bord Bia Egg Quality Assurance Scheme. The Scheme is regularly reviewed to insure it retains its Best in Class status.
The key aspects of egg production covered in the code include flock sourcing, hygiene, disease control, flock welfare and environmental protection. There is particular emphasis on hygiene and disease control especially on the control of salmonella. The salmonella controls are essentially built around the sourcing of pre-lay birds from approved sources and with relevant documentary evidence; the heat treatment of feed; and routine salmonella testing on the farm. Under Irish legislation flocks infected with salmonella must be slaughtered out. Vaccines or antibiotics cannot be used. The scheme also lays down detailed provisions on the use of medication, and on flock welfare (including space requirements for caged flocks).
The requirements of the scheme cover both caged, free range, organic, enriched and barn production systems.
The standards for the egg packer include a requirement for a fully developed quality management system that includes a Quality Assurance Control Plan based on the principles of HACCP. Product identification and traceability is a key element of the packer requirements. This ensures that is there is any breach of the quality chain the product can be traced back to the farm of origin and the cause identified at source. It also provides for product recall should the need arise.
Control and Monitoring
In accordance with modern quality management practices monitoring of the scheme will be by audit rather than intensive inspection.best before date, house code and packing centre code.
- Laying farms must be inspected and approved.
- All systems must be independently audited before the Quality Assurance mark is awarded.