Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Contaminated eggs supplied to Irish food businesses, says FSAI

Tainted eggs scandal spreads to France Dutch egg scandal: 700000 on sale in UK - not 21000 as previously thought
Melinda Barton | 12 August, 2017, 21:55

At first, it was thought that 21,000 contaminated eggs had reached the United Kingdom from Dutch farms implicated in a contamination scare.

Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Asda and Waitrose have withdrawn several products containing eggs - including egg salads and sandwiches - as the UK's exposure to the fipronil egg contamination scandal widens.

The FSA said: "As this represents 0.007% of the eggs we consume in the United Kingdom every year, it remains the case that it is very unlikely that there is any risk to public health from consuming these foods". These would likely be mixed with other eggs that were not from affected farms, making "Fipronil residues highly diluted", the FSA said.

It is moderately toxic and can cause organ damage in humans, but a large number of contaminated eggs would need to be eaten for any negative health effects to be observed.

Morrisons have also withdrawn egg-related sandwiches as part of the clear-out in the wake of some 700,000 eggs imported to the United Kingdom from the Netherlands being tainted with the banned European Union substance fipronil, exposure to which can cause nausea and dizziness.

There is no evidence any British eggs have been contaminated but testing on United Kingdom farms are underway.

All have reported receiving contaminated eggs or egg products in a growing food scandal.

Fipronil is used to prevent fleas, ticks and lice infestations but is banned from use in food-producing animals.

But across the border here in Germany supermarkets have withdrawn millions of eggs from sale while in Belgium and the Netherlands have also taken off millions of eggs from their shelves. "The risk to consumer health is very low", it said.

FSA chairman Heather Hancock said: "I'm confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do".

French authorities said that nearly a quarter of a million contaminated eggs were imported to France between April and July, noting there were no health concerns. "They are suspected of putting public health in danger by supplying and using Fipronil in pens containing egg-laying chickens".

"It relates to two managers at the company that allegedly used the substance (fipronil) at poultry farms", spokeswoman Marieke van der Molen said, with Dutch media naming the suspects' company as Chickfriend.