In these health-conscious times food companies are increasingly keen to warn consumers if ingredients may cause allergic reactions.
But one firm has gone a step further by advising shoppers that its boxes of eggs contain...egg.
The Happy Egg Company’s six-pack of eggs – which features the company’s name and is decorated with a picture of an egg and a cartoon chicken – contains the message ‘allergy advice: contains egg’ inside the lid of the boxes.
Crazy: Warning inside the egg box lid
Mail on Sunday food expert Tom Parker Bowles said: ‘It does get to the point when warnings go too far. We don’t need to be told a peanut contains nuts or eggs contain egg.
‘Perhaps as a nation we should stop being so overexcited about the bureaucracy of everything.
‘The company probably feel they need to cover their backs to escape the wrath of health-and-safety rules.’
The firm initially claimed that supermarkets’ strict labelling criteria were to blame for the overzealous warning.
A spokesman said: ‘Some retailers insist on this information within their packs as part of a due diligence procedure. Any products deemed as potentially allergenic are included in this. A crazy world, but occasionally we have to do silly things to cover ourselves.’
Later The Happy Egg Company admitted it had chosen to print the advice of its own volition – after the supermarkets involved said they only demand producers comply with the law – adding: ‘We have to state the obvious to cover all eventualities.’
But bizarrely, the company has not printed the warning in its boxes of ten eggs.
When asked why the advice had not been repeated, the spokesman reiterated his initial claim that it was due to the retailers’ requirements.
Happy Egg products, which are free range, are on sale in Asda and Morrisons stores and will be in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Somerfield from next month.
Regulations issued by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) watchdog require manufacturers to state on packaging if goods contain allergens.
These consist of 14 substances including eggs, milk, shellfish and nuts, which are recognised as causing allergic reactions.
A spokesperson for the FSA said: ‘Allergen advice has to be stated, but it can be anywhere, including in the ingredients list and in the name of the product.
'As long as the box says “eggs” that is sufficient. Companies just need to use common sense with their labelling.’
Lindsay McManus, from charity Allergy UK, said: ‘It does seem silly but they’re being extra-careful and making absolutely sure they’re covered.’