ibusinesslines.com March 20, 2018

European Union countries report contaminated eggs, Irish risk to health 'very low'

12 August 2017, 09:40 | Kelvin Horton

The number of eggs implicated in a contamination scare in Holland is believed to be around 700,000 not 21,000

The number of eggs implicated in a contamination scare in Holland is believed to be around 700,000 not 21,000

Around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms linked to a contamination scare have been sent to the United Kingdom - far more than the 21,000 first estimated.

Similar actions are underway in Britain where authorities said about 700,000 eggs had been sent there from potentially contaminated Dutch farms, up from an earlier estimate of 21,000.

Products will be withdrawn due to the chemical's unauthorized status, rather than a specific safety concern.

Egg-containing products including salads, quiches and sandwiches have been recalled from Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda and Morrison's.

A "small quantity" of contaminated eggs made their way into the Irish market in June and July this year.

"While in some European countries eggs containing Fipronil residues have been sold as fresh eggs, in the United Kingdom this is not the case", an agency statement said.

The two men detained during a series of raids are directors of a company that allegedly used Fipronil on egg farms, Dutch prosecutors said in a statement.

Fresh eggs are largely uneffected by the contamination, with processed foods that contain eggs posing more of a potential risk in the UK.

The Food Standards Agency has warned about 700,000 eggs contaminated with the insecticide have been sent to the United Kingdom from potentially contaminated Dutch farms.

Four UK supermarkets withdrew products from their shelves on Thursday after it emerged that 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms had been distributed to Britain.

The substance can damage people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands if eaten in large quantities.

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

Fipronil is a popular insecticide to treat pets for fleas and ticks but it is forbidden for use in the food chain.

Millions of eggs have been recalled in eight countries across Europe in the past week.

A batch of 196,000 contaminated Belgian eggs was put on sale between April and May and consumed "without any observed health impact", the French agriculture ministry said.

The European Commission said on Friday a total of 15 countries have been affected by the fipronil-contaminated eggs, including two non-EU countries, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

The European Commission confirmed that all these countries had received eggs that had traces of the insecticide fipronil.

Fipronil is commonly used in veterinary products to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks but it is banned by the European Union from being used to treat animals destined for human consumption, such as chickens.

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