UK Hikes Estimate of Pesticide Contaminated Eggs; No Public Health Risk Expected

UK Hikes Estimate of Pesticide Contaminated Eggs; No Public Health Risk Expected

Four supermarkets in the UK including Morrisons have taken products off their shelves in the wake of the egg contamination scare - as the UK Food Standards Agency said yesterday the scale of the problem is higher than previously thought.

Originally, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) claimed a small proportion (0.001%) of eggs contaminated with insecticide Fipronil from Dutch producers had entered the UK.

In the United Kingdom, processed foods containing eggs, including sandwiches and salads, have been recalled from Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda.

While 700,000 eggs sounds like a lot, it is worth remembering we eat 34 million every single day in the UK. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said in a statement that these eggs were mostly sold to catering firms, cafeterias and cafes.

In the United Kingdom, an estimated 7,00,000 eggs containing this insecticide are believed to have been distributed - a figure 33 times higher than was originally estimated.

Dutch prosecutors announced Thursday that two people were arrested by a joint Belgian-Dutch task force related to the Fiprionil contamination on poultry farms.

Testing of British eggs has found no evidence of fipronil. "As of today, no fipronil-contaminated eggs or egg products have been distributed for consumption on the national territory".

Apart from those two countries, there are many more in the continent that have food safety scares.

The FSA also said it had no evidence that eggs laid in the United Kingdom are contaminated or that Fipronil has been used inappropriately here.

Supermarkets in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have withdrawn millions of eggs from sale.

Fipronil can cause damage to the liver, thyroid glands and kidneys if consumed in large quantities.

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

Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: "I'm confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do".

The FSA said the risk to health was very low.

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.

Fipronil is not permitted for use around food-producing animals like hens.

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