Thousands of fipronil contaminated Dutch eggs in German supermarkets

Marco Green
June 14, 2018

Germany has recalled some 73,000 eggs contaminated with the chemical fipronil, following news that millions of eggs were found contaminated with the insecticide in the Netherlands past year.

The agriculture ministry of Lower Saxony said the batch of tainted eggs had come from an organic firm in the Netherlands, but insisted there was now no danger to human health.

Fipronil is an insecticide and can not be used for animals intended for the food chain. Under EU law, the maximum level allowed is 0.005mg/kg.

Last year, products including bakery mixes and liquid egg were withdrawn from sale in the United Kingdom as a precautionary measure following a widespread contamination scandal that included the recall of 700,000 eggs distributed to the UK.

Officials said the eggs had come from an organic farm in the Netherlands, and were delivered to a packing centre in the district of Vechta, in Lower Saxony between 17 May and 4 June.

The residue was above the permitted European Union level of 0.005mg per kg, but it was "well below a rate that would constitute a risk to health", they said (in German). A second round of tests has been conducted and the results are expected later this week.

British Lion Egg Processors - which represents United Kingdom egg suppliers - today said it was "disappointed" that another fipronil incident has been reported, and called on the Food Standards Agency to launch a programme of random testing of eggs and egg products arriving in the UK. Ten farms closed at the time have yet to reopen. However, although foods were taken off shelve in the United Kingdom, investigations found no evidence of fipronil on British farms. "Barns may have been flushed out", Rob Hageman, a spokesman for the Dutch consumer safety authority, told BBC News.

"It puts Dutch eggs in a bad light again", said poultry farmers association president Eric Hubers. Germany is the biggest market for Dutch eggs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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