Egg shortages will last beyond Christmas and into the new year, an industry body has warned, amid disruptions in supply caused by bird flu and spiraling costs.
Asda is limiting customers to two boxes of eggs each and Lidl is restricting customers in some stores to three boxes.
Tesco is the latest supermarket to be hit, with much of its range said to be out of stock.
Sources at Britain’s biggest supermarket stressed they do not ‘currently’ have buying limits in place. However, they did not rule them out in future.
The British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) told The Guardian: ‘It’s very hard to predict but we can certainly see [shortages] lasting until after Christmas.’
Signage for eggs on the shelves in a Lidl store in Slough. Asda and Lidl are limiting the number of boxes of eggs customers can buy amid supply disruptions caused by rising costs and bird flu
Supplies have been hit by a bird flu epidemic which has seen a cull of many egg-laying hens, and the fact many farmers have turned their back on the industry amid soaring costs of feed and energy.
Industry leaders have accused supermarkets of failing to pay a fair price for eggs.
They argue that only a fraction of a 35 per cent increase in average prices charged by the stores in the past year has been passed back to producers.
And there is mounting anger that some retailers and food manufacturers are now importing eggs from overseas to make up the shortfall.
Sainsbury’s has abandoned its policy of selling only free range eggs to bring in supplies from barn hens in Italy in an attempt to maintain stocks.
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey told MPs on Thursday that she is confident ‘we can get through’ the egg shortage, pointing out ‘there are still nearly 14million egg-laying hens’ in the country.
Empty egg shelves in a Lidl store in Loughborough, Leicestershire. Asda is limiting customers to two boxes of eggs each and Lidl is restricting customers in some stores to three boxes
In May, BFREPA held a summit where they invited the UK’s major supermarkets to meet with them to discuss higher payments for eggs amid the rising cost of fuel and chicken feed.
However, the event was snubbed by the chains – with Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S, ASDA and Lidl replaced by cardboard cut-outs in their absence.
At the summit, farmers warned the supply of eggs would be hit hard if they were not helped by supermarkets to keep chicken farming affordable.
One farmer told the BBC at the time: ‘For most people now, the answer is it’s cheaper not to put chickens into the sheds and to let them run empty.
‘Eventually we’ll see shortages on the shelves because the retailers won’t protect the supply chain now.
‘They’re thinking so short-term. They’re thinking about today’s profits, not keeping the supply going through the autumn and winter.’
Farmers now say shoppers are feeling the impact of supermarkets’ refusal to pay more for their eggs and argued the giants were wrongly blaming bird flu for the shortages.
No eggs? No problem! Chefs reveal how to cook your favorite egg-filled meals WITHOUT the ingredient amid the shortage – including omelets, quiche and hollandaise sauce
ByJessica Green For Mailonline
Eggs are being rationed amid bird flu and soaring production costs – with both supermarkets Lidl and Asda limiting the amount of boxes customers can buy at one time.
Wetherspoon has even removed eggs from fry-ups in a number of its pubs.
It’s no doubt left some Britons fearing they’ll have to go without some of their favorite egg-filled meals, such as omelettes and pancakes.
However, chefs have revealed to FEMAIL how food enthusiasts can easily cook up a storm in the kitchen using egg alternatives.
From meringue to hollandaise sauce and even scrambled ‘eggs’, there’s a way to enjoy the meals and sides without relying on eggs.
Here, we take a look at some of the best alternative recipes to some of the nation’s favorite egg-filled snacks…
With eggs being rationed amid bird flu and soaring production costs, chefs have revealed how you can make your favorite recipes – without the essential (pictured, hollandaise sauce)
Sophie advised using mayonnhaise instead of eggs to make the traditional sauce – and suggested adding a splash of white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of mustard (stock photo)
Sophie Nahmad, a chef at Gousto, said: ‘Hollandaise sauce is notorious for requiring lots of egg yolks.
‘For a great Hollandaise hack you can use mayo in place of your fresh eggs.’
‘It won’t split and it is very quick and easy: Melt 40g butter in a pot over a low heat.
‘Once melted, remove the pot from the heat and add 50ml mayonnaise, a splash of white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of mustard.
‘Whisk until you have a thick sauce then season with salt and pepper. Stir through some fresh chopped dill or chives for extra flavour.’
Rather than enjoying a scrambled egg dish, firm tofu can offer a fantastic alternative to scramble (pictured, Gousto’s Vietnamese Scrambled Tofu Noodle Broth)
While it may feel impossible to enjoy dish of scrambled eggs when there is a shortage of the key ingredient, Sophie explained that tofu could be a useful substitute.
‘Firm tofu is a fantastic alternative to scrambled eggs,’ insisted Sophie.
Sophie explained: ‘For perfect stiff peaks, without egg whites, try a genius substitute aquafaba.
‘Aquafaba is the liquid that is in tinned chickpeas.
‘Drain your tin of chickpeas (keeping the liquid!) and use in place of egg whites in your favorite meringue recipe.
‘Two tablespoons of aquafaba is about the equivalent of one egg white.
‘And as a bonus you’ll have some leftover chickpeas to add to your curry later…’
‘All you need to do is crumble the tofu into small pieces and mix with a little turmeric, a generous pinch of salt and some nutritional yeast (or finely grated cheese if you prefer).
‘Fry it in a little oil and butter for 8-10 mins then add a small splash of milk and season with pepper.
‘Serve on buttered toast, or use the scrambled tofu to top off a delicious noodle dish’
‘It’s easy to be creative with pancakes, both savory and sweet, using hot or cold toppings or adding a delicious savory filling to make them into a good hearty meal,’ said Sophie.
‘No eggs? No problem!
‘Instead mix 120g coconut flour, 1tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl.
‘Add 300ml of almond or coconut milk a little at a time, until the batter has the consistency of single cream.
‘Stir in one tbsp of coconut oil before adding a little oil to a frying pan on a high heat.
‘Drop two tablespoons of the batter in the pan to cover the surface.
‘Cook until golden brown then turn over and cook the other side.
‘Keep doing this until all the mixture is cooked.’
For a delicious egg-free omelet (pictured), Sophie advised using a chickpea flour (or ‘Gram flour’)
‘For a delicious egg-free omelet you can use Chickpea flour (or ‘Gram flour’),’ suggested chef Sophie.
‘For one omelette: whisk together 50g chickpea flour and 80ml water until you get a smooth paste.
‘Then seasonally generously and add all your favorite omelette toppings: cheese, chopped tomato and fresh herbs are my favourites!’
By Judy Joo, founder of Seoul Bird in London
- 1 package, pre-rolled pie short crust
Spinach Tofu filling:
- 350g silken tofu, drained well
- 1 Tbsp chickpea flour or corn flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper, fresh ground
- 1 large clove garlic, grated
- ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 375g fresh spinach leaves
- 50g leeks, finely chopped, white part only
- 30g sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 55g aged parmesan, grated
- 55g feta cheese, grated
- 20g cheddar cheese, grated
Blind bake your pie crust according to manufacturer’s instructions. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 180C.
Place the tofu, chickpea flour, salt, pepper, garlic, and nutmeg in a blender and blend on high speed until completely smooth. Place this mixture into a large bowl.
In a large nonstick skillet placed over medium heat, melt the butter and drizzle in a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Coat the pan well and add the leeks, and sauté until softened.
Add the spinach, mixing well until wilted and cooked through. Tip into a colander placed over the sink and drain well.
Once cooled, use a bamboo roller or paper towels to squeeze all the excess liquid out. You want this mixture to be dry.
Add the spinach and leeks to the tofu mixture and combine well. Stir in the sundried tomatoes, parmesan, feta and cheddar, and mix well until uniform in consistency.
If too loose and watery, stir in some more corn flour. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like.
Spoon mixture into the baked pie shell and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-40 minutes until filling is set and lightly caramelized on top.