March 25, 2018

Pubs warned to check eggs as Fipronil contamination scandal worsens

12 August 2017, 09:58 | Taylor George

GettyBelgium Agriculture Minister Denis Ducharme said the NVWA knew about the issue in November 2016

The health crisis of fipronil in eggs has continued

Numerous eggs were mixed with others which had not come from affected farms so Fipronil residues would be highly diluted, the FSA said.

The UK's food watchdog says about 700 thousand contaminated eggs were imported from the Netherlands, up from an earlier estimate of 21 thousand.

In response, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Asda in the United Kingdom had withdrawn a total of 11 products - including sandwiches, sandwich fillers and salads - from sale.

"We would like this meeting to happen with some distance to the events and have as many facts established as possible", European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told a press conference.

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

The joint action comes a day after Belgium accused the Netherlands of knowing about the problem of fipronil in eggs since November 2016, but failing to inform them until July. Subsequent testing of eggs found them tainted with the banned insecticide, and around 180 Dutch farms have been locked down for testing.

The Food Standards Agency said they are committed to ensuring that food is safe, and that United Kingdom consumers have food they can trust.

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"It is likely that the number of [affected] eggs that have come to the United Kingdom is closer to 700,000 than the 21,000 we previously believed had been imported", the government agency said in a statement.

FSA chairman Heather Hancock said she was "confident" that acting quickly was the right thing to do.

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. "The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are committed to ensuring that food is safe, and that United Kingdom consumers have food they can trust".

The agency added that it is "unlikely" the eggs pose a risk to public health.

Eight countries - Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and France, and now recently Luxembourg - are the nations so far who have been affected, as eggs discovered on supermarket shelves across major markets have been found to contain Fipronil.

It is because fipronil is not authorised for use in food-producing animals'.

It is illegal to use pesticides at a poultry farm.

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