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Hospitals: Eggs

Health written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has issued guidelines to hospitals on their buying criteria to ensure eggs produced in conventional cages should not be used in any form.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

We encourage national health service organisations to adopt the Government Buying Standards (GBS) for food, where possible, through the NHS operating framework for 2011-12 published in December 2010. Mandatory GBS criteria currently bans the use of fresh (in-shell) eggs from conventional cage systems. If a cage system is used it should be enriched cages. In light of the forthcoming European Union ban on conventional cages, we intend to extend this mandatory criteria to cover all liquid and powdered egg products, which are currently in voluntary best practice criteria.

This Government believe that their role is to set a credible and workable example for the wider public sector to follow, and it is this that the GBS is designed to deliver. All public bodies have a different set of requirements and the local people most closely connected with them, staff, patients, governors, will have different priorities, making them best placed to decide how to achieve the objectives we are aiming for.

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