Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

700000 pesticide-contaminated eggs imported into United Kingdom - authorities

700000 pesticide-contaminated eggs imported into United Kingdom - authorities

Denmark has traced 20 tons of imported eggs tainted with the insecticide fipronil, the Scandinavian country's national food safety authority said Thursday.

Fipronil is banned in products used around food-producing animals. Eggs in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium have been destroyed, withdrawn or blocked and well over 100 Dutch egg farms are still shut down whilst investigations continue. Based on the available evidence there is no need for people to change the way they consume or cook eggs.

The news comes amid a health scare in several European countries about possible contamination with a pesticide called Fipronil.

The Agency put out its statement following an investigation into the problem, establishing that many more eggs than it previously believed had come into the United Kingdom from the affected farms.

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The FSAI said Fipronil is an insecticide which is not permitted for use around food producing animals, while noting that traceability on the eggs from the Netherlands contaminated with Fipronil was continuing.

The fipronil-in-eggs contamination scare that has rocked Europe's egg sector saw two major developments today (10 August), with United Kingdom supermarkets pulling processed food products and two individuals arrested in the Netherlands over the affair. "The risk to consumer health is very low", it said. "Now it turns out that the substance used contains fipronil, which is normally used against fleas on cats and dogs".

European Union bodies immediately notified food safety authorities in Britain, France, Sweden and Switzerland after it emerged that eggs contaminated with the insecticide may have entered their territories.

The insecticide scandal only became public on August 1 when authorities in the Netherlands ordered eggs pulled from supermarket shelves and urged shoppers to throw away their egg supply.

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Luxembourg caterers Caterman and Carnesa also informed the authorities that it had received two batches of eggs coming from a supplier where contamination had occurred.

The administration had earlier this week said Denmark was unaffected by the tainted egg scandal spreading across Europe.

The company - named as Chickfriend by local media - allegedly used fipronil at poultry farms, prosecutors in the Netherlands said. "If the laying hens where treated with fipronil, and fipronil was found in the eggs of the laying hens, the meet of the broiler chickens is tested for fipronil, before the broiler chickens are brought to the slaughterhouse". Long-term exposure to large quantities can cause thyroid, liver and kidney damage, and even lead to seizures.

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