Shell shock: What the Dutch egg contamination scandal means for shoppers

Dutch egg scandal: 700000 on sale in UK - not 21000 as previously thought

Dutch egg scandal: 700000 on sale in UK - not 21000 as previously thought

More than 700 thousand infected fipronil (insecticide, potentially unsafe for health) chicken eggs were supplied to Britain from the Netherlands, according to new data, the British Agency on standardization of food products.

The evidence of contamination emerged this month when Aldi pulled products off the shelves after Fipronil - an insecticide banned for use on farm animals because of its danger to human health - was detected in French, Belgian and Dutch poultry farms.

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

In its announcement, the FSA said: "The decision to withdraw these products is not due to food safety concerns, but is based on the fact that Fipronil is not authorised for use in food producing animals".

In large quantities, the insecticide is considered to be "moderately hazardous" according to the World Health Organization, and can have unsafe effects on people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

AROUND 700,000 EGGS thought to have been contaminated with an insecticide in the Netherlands have been distributed in processed foods across Britain.

The Danish food authority, Fødevarestyrelsen, has confirmed that 40 eggs infected with the poisonous insecticide Fipronil have been found in a bakery in Jutland.

Dozens of poultry farms in Belgium and the Netherlands have been investigated amid the hunt for eggs containing Fipronil, which is unsafe to human health.

It is believed that Fipronil, used to kill fleas, lice, ticks, roaches and mites, was inadvertently mixed with a cleaning product routinely used in chicken coops.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said it carries out tests on egg samples for fipronil as part of its annual residue testing programme.

Around 85% of eggs consumed in Britain are laid in the UK.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said, "blaming and shaming will bring us nowhere and I want to stop this".

According to the Danish risk assessment institute - DTU Food - in the Danish Technical University, the level of Fipronil found in eggs produced in Belgium and the Netherlands, and exported to Denmark, does not constitute a health risk to the consumers.

The move came as Dutch investigators detained two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of the pesticide at poultry farms.

Germany has imported 5 billion eggs over the previous year from the Netherlands, where Europe's escalating insecticide-tainted egg scandal originated last week.

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