Around 700,000 eggs imported into the UK have been contaminated by a banned toxic substance, according to Britain’s Food Standards Agency, far exceeding an initial estimate of around 21,000 in an escalating scandal with origins in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The FSA said it was “very unlikely” that the eggs posed a public health risk to British consumers, but added that it had asked businesses to withdraw products that would have been made with eggs containing the banned insecticide Fipronil.
“The decision to withdraw these products is not due to food safety concerns, but is based on the fact that Fipronil is not authorised for use in food producing animals”, said the FSA.
Fipronil is not authorised for use in food producing animals in the EU.
Heather Hancock, chairman of the FSA said:
I’m confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do. The number of eggs involved is small in proportion to the number of eggs we eat, and it is very unlikely that there is a risk to public health.
Based on the available evidence there is no need for people to change the way they consume or cook eggs. However, Fipronil is not legally allowed for use near food-producing animals and it shouldn’t be there.