European shoppers not told about insecticide in eggs

Javier Howell
August 8, 2017

Supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland have pulled millions of eggs from the shelves after fipronil, a substance potentially risky to humans, was found in them.

Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said the aim was "to share the information so that everybody knows that it's now also up to the Swedish, Swiss, French and to the United Kingdom national authorities to check".

The FSA said in a statement: "The Food Standards Agency is committed to making sure that food is safe".

The Commission said Monday that under its European Union rapid alert system it had been determined that eggs under suspicion of contamination had also been distributed to France and Britain via Germany.

The European Commission said on Monday that eggs contaminated with an insecticide may have entered the UK, French, Swedish and Swiss market, after notifying the corresponding national authorities.

In the dark and silent shed of a small Dutch poultry farm, 1.8 million eggs closely packed together wait to be destroyed.

Discount supermarket chain Aldi, which has more than 4,000 stores in Germany, said on Friday it was pulling all eggs from store shelves in the country as a precaution after a scare over the possible contamination of eggs from the Netherlands.

The agency is "urgently investigating" the issue, but to the best of their knowledge, the affected products are no longer on shelves.

It is believed the toxic substance was introduced to poultry farms by a Dutch business named Chickfriend brought in to treat red lice, a parasite in chickens.

A Dutch farming organisation has said that several million hens may need to be culled at 150 companies in the country, with 300,000 having already been killed.

Traces of insecticide fipronil were found in eggs in Belgium and the Netherlands last month, which has led to the temporary shut-down of some poultry farms and to supermarkets halting the sale of eggs from the Netherlands.

Food safety authorities in France, Sweden and Switzerland have also been notified by the EU.

Fipronil is an insecticide used to combat insects such as fleas, lice, ticks, cockroaches and mites.

But it is banned from being used to treat animals destined for human consumption, such as chickens.

Other reports by Insurance News

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