Eggs containing fipronil distributed to UK
A ‘small number of eggs’ have been distributed to the UK from farms in the Netherlands affected by fipronil, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed.
The announcement follows the news that Dutch supermarkets are pulling eggs from their shelves over fears they might contain the insecticide.
In a statement, the FSA said that it is now working closely with the businesses that have received eggs from the affected farms. To date, these investigations suggest that any affected products are no longer on the shelves.
“The Food Standards Agency is committed to making sure that food is safe. The number of eggs involved is very small and the risk to public health is very low, but we are urgently investigating the distribution of these eggs in the UK,” the FSA writes.
“The government has already taken action to prevent any risk to UK consumers by adding Fipronil to its robust surveillance programme in UK farms. We have no evidence that eggs laid in the UK are contaminated or that Fipronil has been used inappropriately in the UK. 85 per cent of the eggs we consume in the UK are laid here.”
The FSA adds that the number of eggs affected represents around 0.0001 per cent of the eggs imported into the UK every year.
“Our risk assessment, based on all the information available, indicates that as part of a normal healthy diet this low level of potential exposure is unlikely to be a risk to public health and there is no need for consumers to be concerned,” the organisation continues. “Our advice is that there is no need for people to change the way they consume or cook eggs or products containing eggs.”
Fipronil is not authorised for use as a veterinary medicine or pesticide around animals destined for consumption. The World Health Organisation deems the insecticide as “moderately toxic” to humans as it can damage the liver, kidney and thyroid gland.
In July, traces of the insecticide were found in Belgium and the Netherlands, forcing some poultry farms to close and to supermarkets halting the sale of eggs. German authorities are now working to examine all egg supplies and to determine the source of the contamination.