As the UK continues to soak up the sun and shoppers rush to buy frozen desserts and ice cream, animal charity Four Paws warns consumers to be on their guard for battery eggs.
Unlike fresh eggs, there is no legal requirement to label products containing eggs to indicate how the hens were kept.
Most UK consumers would like this to change though.
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Four Paws reveals that 69% of consumers think that all food products containing eggs should be labelled to indicate the production system that the eggs came from.
The sad truth is that around half of egg-laying hens in the UK are still confined in battery cages where they are unable even to stretch their wings.
Conventional battery cages are now outlawed across Europe, but producers in some countries are still flouting the ban and so-called “enriched” cages continue to be permitted.
These cages still severely restrict the movement and natural behaviour of the hens – the additional usable space provided for each bird is only equivalent to the size of a mobile phone.
Four Paws is urging shoppers to check labels carefully to make sure any eggs used in their ice cream are from birds who are able to enjoy a more natural life with the freedom to roam outside.
Four Paws spokeswoman Angelique Davies advises: “If it doesn’t specify on the ingredient list that the eggs are free-range or barn, you can assume they are likely to have come from battery eggs.
“Thankfully, there’s plenty of choice for people who want to enjoy great ice cream without condemning hens to a wretched life in a cage.
“Brands that use free-range eggs include Green & Black’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Mackies, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference and Tesco Finest.
“We’re working to encourage more food companies to switch to using higher welfare eggs in their products.
“We’re also campaigning for the egg labelling laws to be extended to include egg ingredients in products like ice cream so that companies using battery eggs will have to make that clear on the label.”