Hong Kong scrambles to inspect European Union eggs as insecticide found

Around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated have come to Britain
Around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated have come to Britain
Author

12 August, 2017

Dutch farms confirmed to have insecticide- tainted eggs were known to have shipped products to Hong Kong, the European Commission said.

She said the EU's "priority remains to manage the situation, to continue to coordinate and to reassure our citizens".

Other affected European Union countries are France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark, commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said, as well as non-EU member Switzerland.

Products in United Kingdom supermarkets were removed on Thursday after it emerged that the initial Food Standards Agency claim that 21,000 contaminated eggs had hit the United Kingdom was a gross underestimate.

Several producers in the Netherlands and Belgium are under investigation after eggs there were found to have been treated with a product containing pesticide Fipronil.

According to the BBC, farms were shut down in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France after authorities found that their eggs contained fipronil - a substance used to kill lice and ticks on animals.

Belgium became the first country to officially notify the EU's food safety alert system of the presence of tainted eggs on July 20, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.

On Thursday, the agency said 20 tons of boiled and peeled eggs had been sold by an unnamed Belgian subcontractor in recent months to a distributor in Denmark, which in turn sold them to canteens, cafes and catering companies in the country.

The semi-autonomous Chinese territory of Hong Kong was the only non-European place mentioned that was affected.

But the Food Standards Agency said the contamination posed a low risk to the public.

A Dutch whistle-blower separately said he had told the authorities that Chickfriend, the Dutch company at the center of the scandal, was illegally using fipronil in the treatment of lice in chicken pens in the Netherlands.

"The centre has taken preventative measures, including stepping up inspection of imported eggs from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium", she added. "We are very concerned about the issue and maintain close contact with the Centre for Food Safety in order to take prompt action accordingly", a company spokesman said. But the German government says more than 10 million eggs may have been distributed in the country alone.


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