UK first to roll out scotch eggs amid protests from anti-snaxxers

The UK this week became the first country in the world to approve the use of scotch eggs in the fight against coronavirus. 

A version of the sausage-meat and breadcrumb covered snack developed by foods giant Ginsters could be rolled out as early as next week, allowing pubs to open their doors and life to get back to normal for millions of Britons.

‘Perfectly safe’

The prime minister and senior members of the government hailed the news as a major step forward in the national recovery from the effects of the pandemic, but concerns were raised about the safety of the products by so-called anti-snaxxers, the vocal lobby opposed to all forms of bar food.

They claim that scotch eggs can cause infertility, complications in pregnancy, autism, persistent flatulence and other chronic conditions.

The government insisted that scotch eggs are perfectly safe and denied that regulatory agencies had cut corners to get them to market before closing time.

Egg passports

It also moved to quash suggestions that people would only be admitted to pubs and other hospitality venues if they had documentary proof that they had eaten a meat encased egg within the past week. 

Sir Desmond Swayne gave an impassioned speech to the Westminster Parliament in which he reminded the government that any attempt to make the snack compulsory would be an unprecedented infringement of civil liberties. 

For the government, Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, said there were no plans to introduce “egg passports” or to make the consumption of scotch eggs compulsory.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mr Gove floundered under questioning from presenter Piers Morgan when asked how many scotch eggs would constitute a “substantial dose” and whether a pork pie or dry roasted peanuts would offer similar levels of protection for drinkers.

Hancock’s Breggsit claim  

The minister for health Matt Hancock also courted controversy when he and other leading Conservatives suggested that the UK had only been able to fast-track the approval of the first batch of eggs because EU restrictions no longer applied post-Brexit. 

EU officials denied that the British withdrawal had helped the UK to be the first to grant approval. “It’s nothing to do with regulation. Only the Brits would serve up such an abomination with their warm beer. I hope they go well with fish,” said Michel Barnier. 

Some confusion remains over who will be at the head of the queue when scotch egg production begins in earnest, though Jacob Rees Mogg has hinted that boys from public schools and members of his own family would likely top the list.

The Oxford egg

The government has warned that while the first batch of eggs will start to reach those in greatest need within the next few weeks, most of the population will have to wait until early next year when the British-developed Oxford egg becomes available in volume.

Urging people to be cautious and to continue to follow government snacking guidelines in the run-up to Christmas, prime minister Boris Johnson nevertheless sounded a note of optimism when he appeared on television on Wednesday evening clutching a pint of Old Peculiar and a large bag of pork scratchings. 

“Now this is not the egg. It is not even the beginning of the egg. But it is, perhaps, the egg of the beginning,” he said.

UK first to roll out scotch eggs amid protests from anti-snaxxers

The UK this week became the first country in the world to approve the use of scotch eggs in the fight against coronavirus. 

A version of the sausage-meat and breadcrumb covered snack developed by foods giant Ginsters could be rolled out as early as next week, allowing pubs to open their doors and life to get back to normal for millions of Britons.

‘Perfectly safe’

The prime minister and senior members of the government hailed the news as a major step forward in the national recovery from the effects of the pandemic, but concerns were raised about the safety of the products by so-called anti-snaxxers, the vocal lobby opposed to all forms of bar food.

They claim that scotch eggs can cause infertility, complications in pregnancy, autism, persistent flatulence and other chronic conditions.

The government insisted that scotch eggs are perfectly safe and denied that regulatory agencies had cut corners to get them to market before closing time.

Egg passports

It also moved to quash suggestions that people would only be admitted to pubs and other hospitality venues if they had documentary proof that they had eaten a meat encased egg within the past week. 

Sir Desmond Swayne gave an impassioned speech to the Westminster Parliament in which he reminded the government that any attempt to make the snack compulsory would be an unprecedented infringement of civil liberties. 

For the government, Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, said there were no plans to introduce “egg passports” or to make the consumption of scotch eggs compulsory.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mr Gove floundered under questioning from presenter Piers Morgan when asked how many scotch eggs would constitute a “substantial dose” and whether a pork pie or dry roasted peanuts would offer similar levels of protection for drinkers.

Hancock’s Breggsit claim  

The minister for health Matt Hancock also courted controversy when he and other leading Conservatives suggested that the UK had only been able to fast-track the approval of the first batch of eggs because EU restrictions no longer applied post-Brexit. 

EU officials denied that the British withdrawal had helped the UK to be the first to grant approval. “It’s nothing to do with regulation. Only the Brits would serve up such an abomination with their warm beer. I hope they go well with fish,” said Michel Barnier. 

Some confusion remains over who will be at the head of the queue when scotch egg production begins in earnest, though Jacob Rees Mogg has hinted that boys from public schools and members of his own family would likely top the list.

The Oxford egg

The government has warned that while the first batch of eggs will start to reach those in greatest need within the next few weeks, most of the population will have to wait until early next year when the British-developed Oxford egg becomes available in volume.

Urging people to be cautious and to continue to follow government snacking guidelines in the run-up to Christmas, prime minister Boris Johnson nevertheless sounded a note of optimism when he appeared on television on Wednesday evening clutching a pint of Old Peculiar and a large bag of pork scratchings. 

“Now this is not the egg. It is not even the beginning of the egg. But it is, perhaps, the egg of the beginning,” he said.

(c) 2020 Julian Patterson

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