Eggs contaminated with 'potentially harmful' pesticide being sold in UK

Eggs contaminated with 'potentially harmful' pesticide being sold in UK

Eggs contaminated with 'potentially harmful' pesticide being sold in UK

Supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland have pulled millions of eggs from the shelves after fipronil, a substance potentially unsafe to humans, was found in them. "The aim is to share the information so that everybody knows that it's up to the Swedish, Swiss and French authorities to check, because all these eggs are traceable", explained the spokeswoman.

Food Standards Agency has said the risk to public health "is very low".

"What I can say is that the farms are identified, the eggs are blocked, the contaminated eggs are traced and withdrawn from the market, and the situation is under control", she said.

"The number of eggs involved represents about 0.0001% of the eggs imported into the United Kingdom each year", it said.

Dozens of farms are being checked in the Netherlands, while Belgium's food safety agency is probing how Fipronil might have entered eggs destined for supermarkets.

Photo Farm workers discarded eggs in Onstwedde, the Netherlands, last week after concern about insecticide contamination.

Discount supermarket chain Aldi is withdrawing all eggs from sale at its more than 4,000 stores in Germany as a precaution, it said on Friday, as a scare over the possible contamination of eggs with insecticide spreads.

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It is believed the substance was introduced to poultry farms by a Dutch business, named Chickfriend, which was called in to treat red lice, a nasty parasite in chickens.

Dutch farming organisation LTO said that several million hens may need to be culled at 150 companies in the country, with 300,000 having already been killed.

The European Union on Monday notified the food safety authorities in Britain, France, Sweden and Switzerland to be on the lookout for contamination in eggs after a food scare in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Facing pressure from Germany and the Netherlands, Ducarme promised "complete transparency".

Belgian and Dutch authorities are now investigating how the insecticide came into illegal contact with egg-laying chickens.

Fipronil is an insecticide used in veterinary products for getting rid of fleas, ticks and lice on animals.

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