Germany recalls eggs from Netherlands due to fipronil

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock/brookebecker
Picture: iStock/brookebecker

Related tags: Egg, Germany, Netherlands

Tens of thousands of eggs from the Netherlands have been recalled in six German states due to contamination with fipronil.

Eggs from an organic laying hen farm in the Netherlands were sampled in the German city of Vechta and found to contain 0.014; 0.019 and 0.007 mg / kg fipronil.

The maximum permitted level according to EU regulations is 0.005 mg / kg.

Fipronil residues detected did not exceed levels considered by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) as potentially harmful to health.

Fipronil residues from Dutch eggs

An independent analysis from a second laboratory confirmed contamination with fipronil in 73,545 eggs from the Netherlands.

From 17 May to 4 June, 97,200 eggs from the Netherlands were delivered to the German packing station, of which around 73,000 were put on sale.

The Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture said eggs with code 0 NL 4031002 printed on them are affected.

Authorities said 98% of the eggs were supplied to the retail trade in Niedersachsen, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Bayern, Schleswig-Holstein and Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Fipronil is an insecticide and cannot be used for animals intended for the food chain.

It was found in Dutch and Belgian farms and millions of eggs were withdrawn from the market last year.

Belgian police raided the country’s food safety agency (AFSCA) last month in relation to the fipronil incident. The agency said it was co-operating with the investigation.

Brussels prosecutors said the search concerned suspicion of dissemination of false information relating to the contamination of eggs by fipronil.

British Lion Egg Processors want random egg testing

British Lion Egg Processors expressed disappointment at another issue being reported with eggs from the Netherlands.

Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “Unfortunately, we are not surprised by these developments as we have been concerned for some time that the initial issues following the product recalls we saw last year have not been thoroughly resolved​. 

“With the extent of the issue unclear, we are asking the Food Standards Agency to take decisive action to protect UK food businesses, and are calling for random testing of all imported eggs and egg products.

“Food businesses should protect themselves by specifying British Lion eggs and egg products, which are produced to the highest standards of food safety, and reassure their customers by using the British Lion mark on pack.”

More than one in seven egg and chicken samples collected between September and November 2017 contained residues exceeding legal limits.

They came from eight countries with most from the Netherlands. 

Samples were submitted by member states to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

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