Two arrested in tainted egg scandal: Dutch prosecutors

GV of egg production in Europe

Image Most of the eggs have been mixed into other food products

Around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated in a contamination scare have been distributed to Britain, rather than the 21,000 first estimated, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said.

The egg scandal started in Belgium which is the source of the fipronil found in Dutch eggs.

It also revealed that 40% of consumers would be less likely to shop at retailers that sold imported eggs in products.

Denmark is the latest European country to discover eggs contaminated with fipronil in its food chain.

"Many of the eggs involved were mixed with other eggs which have not come from affected farms so Fipronil residues will be highly diluted, " said the FSA.

"The number of egg products imported is very small".

It is believed that fipronil, which is banned for use on animals destined to enter the consumption, may have entered the food chain illegally.

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

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) says the highest amount of fipronil measured was 1.2mg per kg of egg.

The scandal has proven to be far-reaching, with poisonous eggs being found in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden.

Dutch authorities arrested two men Thursday on suspicion of involvement in the illegal use of the pesticide Fipronil in poultry farms.

Last Friday, both ministries had announced that no goods from the affected Dutch and German manufacturers had been sold in Luxembourg.

The FSAI said Fipronil is an insecticide which is not permitted for use around food producing animals, while noting that traceability on the eggs from the Netherlands contaminated with Fipronil was continuing.

It's banned by the European Union from being used to treat animals destined for human consumption, but it's believed that a disinfectant containing the pesticide was used on some chicken farms in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Food Standards Agency said some of the products made from these eggs will have had a short shelf-life and will have already been consumed.

The Netherlands is one of the largest exporters of chicken eggs in the world.

Testing of British eggs has found no evidence of fipronil.

Cactus does not have any egg supplier in the Netherlands, it had now become clear that the usual supplier was probably buying some poultry eggs from the Netherlands.

Mr Ducharme added: "If we had seen this information communicated to our respective agencies, vigilance concerning Fipronil would have been greatly increased".

But Belgium has in turn accused the Dutch of knowing about the problem as far back as November 2016, which they deny.

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