ALERT: 700, 000 potentially contaminated eggs in United Kingdom food chain

Ross Houston
August 10, 2017

They have reportedly pinned the source of the insecticide to a supplier of cleaning products in the Netherlands.

Millions of chicken eggs have been pulled from European supermarket shelves as a result of the scare over the use of the insecticide fipronil, which is unsafe to humans, and hundreds of thousands of hens may be culled in the Netherlands.

One thing, at least, is not in dispute: Supermarkets in several countries across Europe have pulled eggs from their shelves for fear they were contaminated with Fipronil, an insecticide that's typically used to kill lice and ticks - and that has the potential to harm humans.

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

The Food Standards Agency made the announcement today, and revealed that the products affected are mainly sandwich fillings or other chilled foods.

"However, Fipronil is not legally allowed for use near food-producing animals and it shouldn't be there".

The problem is believed to stem from a substance used by a Dutch company, Chickfriend, that farmers in the Netherlands and Belgium say they hired to treat their chickens.

Investigators in the Netherlands and Belgium carried out coordinated raids on Thursday linked to a probe into the discovery of the insecticide fipronil in European eggs, authorities said.

Despite the increase in affected eggs, the FSA stressed this still represented only 0.007% of the eggs consumed in the United Kingdom every year.

Fipronil is commonly used in veterinary products to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks, but is banned by the European Union for use to treat animals destined for human consumption, such as chickens.

Food safety agencies in the U.K., France, Switzerland and Sweden have also been alerted to the risk.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), fipronil can damage the liver, thyroid glands and kidneys if ingested in large amounts over time.

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