European states recalled eggs over contamination scandal

European states recalled eggs over contamination scandal

At least 700,000 eggs implicated in the fipronil scandal have been imported into the United Kingdom, far more than initial estimates, the Food Standards Agency has confirmed.

The Food Standards Agency said products affected in the United Kingdom were mainly processed foods in which egg is one ingredient among many others, mostly used in sandwich fillings or other chilled foods.

In France, about 250,000 affected eggs have sold in the country since April and authorities say products containing eggs from contaminated farms will be taken off the shelves. While some European countries' eggs containing Fipronil residues have been sold as fresh eggs, this is not the case in the UK.

This is more than 33 times the 21,000 first estimated, the Food Standards Agency has said.

The U.K. raised its estimate of eggs contaminated by the unauthorized pesticide fipronil, with the outbreak believed to have affected some products made by major supermarkets.

Almost 250,000 eggs contaminated with an insecticide have reached shops in France and a lot of them have already been eaten, the French farm ministry said on Friday, adding that it saw minimal health risks from the incident.

"The Centre for Food Safety is now inspecting eggs coming from Europe closely, no matter at the import, or at the retail level", Chan said.

The FSA also said it had no evidence that eggs laid in the United Kingdom are contaminated or that Fipronil has been used inappropriately here.

Fipronil, which is found in eggs, is used to destroy fleas, lice, ticks and cockroaches. The FSA has advised that this is unlikely to pose a health risk - but we are withdrawing these products from sale on a temporary basis as a precautionary measure'. Poultry farmers in the Netherlands have alleged that a substance that they bought from a Dutch-based farming company Chickfriend is what has caused introduced Fipronil into the eggs.

The insecticide can damage people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands if eaten in large quantities.

The European Commission on Friday listed Italy among the 15 EU countries that imported contaminated eggs or egg products originating in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: "I'm confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do".

Similarly, early last month, a small quantity of liquid pasteurised egg - with a "use-by" date of July 20 - was supplied to a number of food businesses for use in bakery products, the FSAI added.