Dioxin-tainted eggs pose no ‘acute health risk’, says BfR

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Polychlorinated biphenyl Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins European union

Dioxin-contaminated eggs that entered the food chain in Germany and the Netherlands are not expected to cause any adverse health effects but such exposure was unacceptable, said the German food safety body.

The BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) delivered its opinion in the wake of a warning issued via the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) that eggs with higher-than-permitted levels of dioxins had been reported in the two countries.

The body launched an investigation after dioxin-tainted eggs were found to contain up 2.5 times the amounts permitted under European Union and World Health Organisation regulations.

Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental contaminants that humans mainly take in through foods of animal origin. Because dioxins and PCBs are stored in the fatty tissue of humans where they also accumulate, the daily intake amount should be minimised as much as possible, cautioned the BfR.

The dioxin concentrations uncovered did not constitute an acute health hazard for consumers and the consumption of such contaminated eggs over a short period of time is not expected to have adverse effects on health, added the body.

“For reasons of preventive consumer protection, however, PCB and dioxin contamination should be minimised as much as possible. In this respect, unnecessary and avoidable additional exposure is not acceptable”, said a statement from the food safety agency.

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