Two arrested in connection with European egg contamination scandal

11 August, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Tainted egg scandal France demands more information

Molen's announcement came after Belgium on Wednesday accused the Netherlands' food safety authority NVWA of failing to inform the Belgians that its eggs were tainted with insecticide despite knowing about the problem of fipronil in eggs since November 2016, but failing to inform them until July.

Four UK supermarkets withdrew products from their shelves on Thursday after it emerged that 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms had been distributed to Britain.

Fipronil is not deemed to be a risk to food safety, but is not authorised for use in food producing animals.

More than 700,000 contaminated eggs have been shipped from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, leading major supermarkets such as Sainsbury's and Waitrose to urgently recall stocks of fresh sandwiches, quiche and salads.

"All major United Kingdom retailers stock British Lion shell eggs and tests have shown that there is no risk from British eggs".

Though no illnesses have been reported, prosecutors said there is evidence that public health has been threatened by "the delivery or application of the biocide Fipronil in poultry houses in the egg sector".

The company - named as Chickfriend by local media - allegedly used fipronil at poultry farms, prosecutors in the Netherlands said. In total, the European Union has sold several million potentially unsafe eggs.

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The Food Standards Agency said it had found evidence that some 700,000 eggs had been imported over the period it is known fipronil was being used on Dutch poultry farms, Europe's biggest exporter of eggs. Eggs have been withdrawn from sale in both Germany and Belgium after the Dutch authorities raised the alarm.

The FSA had originally said British food safety inspectors were trying to trace 21,000 eggs imported from affected farms in the Netherlands between March and June.

Aldi said it was "purely precautionary" and added that those sold in its United Kingdom outlets are produced in Britain.

Denmark is believed to be the 10th country affected by the widening scandal, with Romania and Luxembourg among the latest to report finding contaminated products.

Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons are all recalling the egg-containing products, although the agency said that some of the recalled products will have already been consumed.

In Denmark, the eggs were discovered before they were used and have been returned to the distributor, but Fødevarestyrelsen wouldn't rule out more cases popping up in the nation. Officials in France, Sweden and Switzerland were also informed of a risk to consumers. They said they had also seized 6,000 litres of "prohibited products" in Belgium. It is considered slightly poisonous by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is hence forbidden on animals destined for the food chain to prevent damage to the human liver, thyroid and kidney.

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