Tainted egg products recalled from United Kingdom supermarkets

Posted August 12, 2017

Investigators believe the tainted eggs originated in the Netherlands - Europe's largest egg producer, where about 10 billion are produced per year.

Two more tonnes of insecticide-contaminated eggs have been discovered in Denmark, bringing the country's total to 22 tonnes, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said Friday (Aug 11).

"Our inspectors are monitoring poultry farms around the country", she added.

The finding of Fipronil in Dutch eggs led to a national egg crisis, with millions of eggs being taken out of the supermarkets since the start of August, around 180 poultry companies being closed and millions of chickens being killed.

"And as the authorities in Belgium and Holland get more information they pass that onto our own Food Standards Agency".

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Britain said it was very unlikely that there was a risk to public health.

The FSA admitted that "some of the products made from these eggs will have had a short shelf life and will have already been consumed, " but withdrew a list of over a dozen products - sandwiches and salads - from leading retailers Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda.

Luxembourg said that eggs sold in branches of the discount supermarket Aldi had been withdrawn, with one batch containing so much fipronil it was unsafe to be eaten by young children.

European Union commissioner for health and food safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, stressed that the meeting would not be a crisis summit, nor would its goal be to apportion blame.

The eggs came from farms in the Netherlands and were used as one ingredient in processed foods, such as sandwich fillings.

Yesterday it emerged that Dutch authorities knew as far back as November that some eggs in the country were contaminated with the insecticide - but failed to notify their European partners at the time, claimed Belgium's agriculture minister.

"The number of egg products imported is very small", it said.

Fipronil is widely used to treat pets for ticks and flees but its use in any part of the food chain, for example to clean out barns, is forbidden.

Belgian authorities admitted that a farm alerted them to possible contamination in June - several weeks before the scare became public knowledge - but they thought it was an isolated case.

The Dutch investigation, they added, is focusing on a Dutch company that allegedly applied the Fipronil, the presumed Belgian supplier and a Dutch trader who worked together with the supplier.