The latest food scare, which involves foreign eggs contaminated with insecticide Fipronil, looks likely to accelerate the trend to local sourcing that helps give convenience stores their point of difference.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is continuing its investigation to trace egg products that might contain the contaminant.
It updated its withdrawal list on Thursday with a further 14 products that are still within their shelf life on Thursday, most of which it said had been distributed to food manufacturers and catering outlets.
The FSA believes the egg in implicated foods may have been supplied from affected farms in the Netherlands and incorporated into processed foods and imported in liquid form.
The latest withdrawals come just days after Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda had to strip shelves of certain salads, sandwiches and fillers incorporating affected eggs.
The FSA stressed the products affected were processed foods in which egg was one ingredient among many others. It said testing of eggs on farms was under way across the UK and results to date for England and Wales showed no exposure to Fipronil.
Sid Ali, who owns five Nisa stores in Aberdeenshire, said: “I think you will get retailers who look at this latest situation and say can I buy more locally, or can I buy British – but that will be at independent retail level. The big multiples will just say where can they buy the cheapest.”
Sid says he does not just want to source British, but Aberdeenshire. “I think consumers will trust independents a lot more with local sourcing and it also gives them a USP.
“We find that in the north east of Scotland people don’t buy so much processed food. They like to buy fresh and cook from scratch up here.”
Nisa said its Heritage own label shell eggs were produced in the UK and so not implicated and Happy Eggs and Big & Fresh branded shell eggs sold by Nisa were also not implicated.
“Although the initial FSA briefing talked about shell eggs only, Nisa started due diligence on all further processed egg products to ensure the affected eggs had not got into the processed chain. Nisa has 79 Heritage products which contain egg or egg derived ingredients from 23 suppliers,” it said.
The manufacturers of the 79 Heritage products which contain egg or egg-derived ingredients had all confirmed that its products were not implicated and remained safe.
Nisa said it expected branded suppliers of further processed products to have undertaken similar due diligence checks and to inform Nisa should any action need to be taken.
Adelie Foods, whose Urban Eat brand is sold to the convenience sector, said “a very limited number” of its products were affected and these were withdrawn from sale.
Martin Baker, technical, risk and compliance director of Adelie Foods, said: “Many food manufacturers were impacted by the issue raised by the Food Standards Agency last week. We worked closely with the FSA on this matter and acted immediately on the very limited number of affected product and ensured that the issue was contained and rectified within 12 hours with a new supply.”