Toxic European eggs reach fifteen countries

Ivan Schwartz
August 12, 2017

"It is likely that the number of eggs that have come to the United Kingdom is closer to 700,000 rather than the 21,000 we previously believed had been imported", says the FSA.

In Britain, the Food Standards Agency said it had found more eggs than previously believed had entered the food chain, mainly through processed food.

Products will be withdrawn due to the chemical's unauthorized status, rather than a specific safety concern.

Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda have been withdrawing 11 items - including sandwiches and salads - though some may have already been consumed.

"Similarly, in early July, a small quantity of liquid pasteurised egg, with a "use-by" date of 20th July, was supplied to a number of food businesses for use in bakery products".

European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said that Netherlands, Belgium and Germany warned other countries about the possibility of having exported contaminated eggs to them.

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The products affected in the United Kingdom are said to be processed foods that included eggs among other ingredients, mostly used in sandwich fillings or other similar chilled foods. This insecticide if consumed in high quantities can cause damage to kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

No fipronil-contaminated eggs have made it to consumers' plates in Italy, the Italian Health Ministry said last night.

More than 180 Dutch chicken farms were closed amid follow-up examinations.

Hong Kong, Switzerland and 15 European Union countries have all received eggs contaminated with fipronil, according to officials.

Tensions have risen between agricultural ministers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany after traces of the moderately toxic insecticide fipronil were found in batches of eggs, linked by authorities to a Dutch supplier of cleaning products. However, Britain imports annually nearly 2 billion eggs, the the Agency.

"The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are committed to ensuring that food is safe, and that United Kingdom consumers have food they can trust".

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