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Swedes scoff millions of eggs

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15:57 CEST+02:00
Nothing - not even a spot of bird flu - is going to stop Swedes from gobbling up eggs during Easter week. Around 2,000 tonnes of eggs will be scoffed across the country - twice as much as during the rest of the year.

One person who's satisfied by the week's consumption is Camilla Sandenskog, the managing director for the industry organisation Swedish Eggs.

"Swedish consumers trust the authorities. If they say it's not dangerous to eat eggs, people trust that. Very few egg consumers have asked suppliers about bird flu," she told TT.

Since it appears that nobody has been infected with bird flu through food, Swedes have been stuffing themselves with eggs as usual this Easter.

Maundy Thursday is the first big sales day, and consumption reaches its peak on Easter Saturday. Indeed, Swedish Eggs reckons that during the most hectic hours on Easter Saturday, some six million eggs are eaten.

"The stores are empty. It'll take two weeks before production is back to normal, since the hens can only lay one egg a day," explained Camilla Sandenskog.

After several years of declining egg consumption, there was an increase in 2004 when Swedes ate on average 200 eggs each (including egg products). But even that is somewhat lower than elsewhere in the EU and in other industrialised countries.

The increase continued in 2005 and in the first quarter of 2006, according to Camilla Sandenskog. However, the year's results are hard to predict: egg consumption increases during bad weather and decreases when the weather's fine, say eggsperts.

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