You may be aware of the current temporary requirement from the government for some farmers to keep birds being bred for meat and eggs indoors as a precaution against a strain of Avian flu.

The Government is trying to limit the spread to protect both wild and farmed birds by requiring that flocks in some areas continue to be housed inside. As animal welfare is a top priority for Waitrose, we will ensure that the highest standards of welfare are maintained while this housing order is in place.

Public Health England advises that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for UK consumers.

From the beginning of March all of our boxed eggs will display a sticker indicating that they may be from hens temporarily housed in barns for their welfare.  From the end of March, all of our free range chicken will also display a similar sticker.

The agreed industry approach has been to apply the sticker to all free range egg and chicken, regardless of their status in order to support the producers who are still subject to the limited housing order.

We remain committed to our free range egg and chicken producers, and hens will be permitted to access outside space as soon as it is safe to do so.