Sweden: The McDonald's burger chain is planning to open several outlets in the north of Sweden, but avoiding a error made during a similar venture in the late Eighties. In the new burger bars, knives and forks will be available, which was not the case in the older ones which closed in 1991. "We were a little rigid and held tightly to our concept, but now we're listening more to what our customers want," said a spokesman. Local custom in northern Sweden demands knives and forks for the consumption of beefburgers.

Czech Republic: Figures issued by the Czech agriculture ministry indicate that Czechs are now eating less beef (in fact, less meat of all kinds), fewer eggs, less butter, less fat, less seasonal fruit, but more tropical fruit, vegetables and vegetable oil than in 1989.

Britain: November, though you may not have realised it, has been Crack an Egg Month. According to the British Egg Information Service, which launched it, six out of 10 boys aged seven to 14 do not know how to boil an egg, but 90 per cent of girls of the same age said they would be willing to do the cooking.