Eggs scandal: 700000 sent to United Kingdom but risk is 'unlikely'

Violet Powell
August 12, 2017

He said test results received overnight from the French food safety agency on affected eggs and egg products showed "the level of contamination does not present a risk for the consumer".

Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, France and Luxembourg have also now announced that they have found contaminated eggs.

Dutch investigators arrested two suspects on Thursday in connection with a probe into the discovery of fipronil insecticide in European eggs, prosecutors said.

The FSA has stressed that the likelihood of becoming ill from eating contaminated eggs is very low.

Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry.

In Denmark, 40 eggs from a farm affected by Fipronil have been found at a baker, Nikolai Kuhn Hove of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration told Denmark's TV2 channel.

In response, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda have withdrawn a total of 11 products - including sandwiches, sandwich fillers and salads - from sale.

The German supermarket giant Aldi was the first major supermarket to pull all its eggs from shelves in July. Those were sold mostly to cafes and caterers, it said.

Eggs organic are not spared, as the disinfectant in the fipronil used fraudulently in Belgium and the netherlands was presented as a natural product by the companies that the market.

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The FSA said the 700,000 figure represented 0.007% of eggs eaten in the United Kingdom each year.

The insecticide has the potential to damage the liver, thyroid glands and liver if ingested in large quantities.

The FSA said it had no evidence that eggs laid in the United Kingdom were contaminated or that Fipronil had been used inappropriately here, and testing results to date for England and Wales showed no exposure to the pesticide.

Two directors of the company at the centre of the scandal were arrested on Thursday by Dutch authorities.

In Poland, Jan Bondar, a spokesman for the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, said that an estimated 40,000 potentially contaminated eggs have been imported but were not sold to consumers.

The joint offensive came despite Belgium earlier accusing the Netherlands of knowing about the problem of fipronil in eggs since November 2016, but failing to inform them until July.

More than 100 poultry farms were closed during the investigation and at least 26 suspects were identified.

It has since emerged that Belgian officials knew about the contamination in June, but did not make the information public.

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