Why I pack a higher welfare picnic

Picnic basket on a picnic blanket outdoors on grass © Jo Ann Snover / iStockphoto

Sandwiches, mini sausages, pork pies, scotch eggs, cakes and strawberries! These are just some of the items you may be packing in your picnic basket in the coming weeks as we take advantage of the sunny weather and head outside to eat!

But how about having a go at making one of your picnic favourites from scratch – whipping up a quiche or rolling your own sausage rolls? Not only will you be able to include all your favourite ingredients, but you’ll be able to guarantee the meat and eggs you use are higher welfare.

Why choosing higher welfare matters

Over 900 million animals are farmed for their meat in the UK every year and many of these farm animals are kept in conditions that are not good enough in terms of welfare.

Freedom Food logo © RSPCAAs consumers we all have the power to make a difference to the lives of farm animals. So if you eat meat, poultry, eggs or salmon look for the Freedom Food logo,  that way you can be sure that the animals have been reared on farms inspected to RSPCA standards.

Get started

So get started today by having a go at one of our picnic recipes and spread the word among friends and family of your animal welfare friendly ingredients.

Also did you know that all own-label products from M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Co-operative Food are made from cage-free eggs. Perfect if you want to quickly buy a quiche or cake for your lunchbox.

Mustard sausage rolls

A special recipe courtesy of Richard Johnson, TV presenter and food writer

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Mustard sausage rolls © istock photolibraryCooking time: 20 minutes


1 red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp oil

6 Freedom Food labelled sausages

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-2 tsp whole grain mustard

320g ready-rolled puff pastry

plain flour, for dusting

1 free-range egg, beaten

thyme leaves

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan oven 180C, Gas 6.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for about 5 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Tip into a large bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Split the sausages’ skin and ease the sausage meat out and into the bowl with the cooled onion. Add the thyme leaves and seasoning and mix well.

Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a 35 x 25cm rectangle, with the long side facing you. Cut the pastry in half horizontally. Then cut each piece in half again lengthways.

Brush the pastry with the mustard. Make the sausage meat into a sausage shape and place along the middle of each pastry rectangle. Brush the long edge of the pastry with the beaten egg and roll the sausage up in the pastry to enclose, pressing the seam along the side to seal. Repeat until all the pastry and sausage meat has been used. Put the sausage rolls in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Cut into bite size pieces about 4-5 cm. Brush with a little beaten egg and score with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with a little black pepper.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry has turned golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving.

Top Tip: Replace the fried onion with fried leeks or if you are a great mustard fan use English mustard for additional heat.

My favourite kind of picnic

Picnic basket on a picnic blanket outdoors on grass © Jo Ann Snover / iStockphotoFor me packing a higher welfare picnic is ensuring that my friends and family, will be enjoying sandwiches, quiche’s and cakes that contain ingredients which are from farms that consider the welfare of the animals

I’m always on the lookout for more higher welfare picnic ideas, so if you’ve got a good recipe tell me about it in the comments below.

-Eloise Shavelar


3 Responses to “Why I pack a higher welfare picnic”

  • Gemma

    Mm, looks delicious! Personally I don’t think you can beat a home made Scotch egg. With Freedom Food egg and sausage meat, of course :)

    • RSPCA Official

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for your suggestion :o )

  • Comments are closed.

    Back to blog...