Eggs recall: 700000 distributed in United Kingdom contaminated with fipronil pesticide

The health crisis of fipronil in eggs has continued

The ensuing food-safety crisis has sparked diplomatic tension, shut hundreds of farms and forced supermarkets to clear eggs from their shelves.

A majority of the affected products are processed foods in which egg is one of the ingredients, such as in sandwich fillings or other chilled foods.

The treatment, it seems, contained a toxic chemical called fipronil, which is banned from use on animals involved in the human food chain, including chickens.

The FSA said 85% it had "no evidence" that any eggs laid in the United Kingdom were contaminated.

Testing of British eggs has found no evidence of fipronil.

The Food Standards Agency says it's likely that the number of eggs that have come to the United Kingdom is closer to 700,000 than the 21,000 officials previously believed had been imported.

The FSA said investigations indicated it was "very unlikely" that the eggs posed a risk to public health but nonetheless said they were urgently investigating where they may have been sold. "Our advice is that there is no need for people to change the way they consume or cook eggs or products containing eggs".

The scandal erupted last week when it was discovered that about 200 eggs producers in the Netherlands and Belgium were illegally using Fipronil on their chickens - which is against European Union law.

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The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) says the highest amount of fipronil measured was 1.2mg per kg of egg. These would likely be mixed with other eggs that were not from affected farms, making "Fipronil residues highly diluted", the FSA said.

United Kingdom food authorities said about 700,000 suspicious eggs had entered the country.

The FSA had originally said British food safety inspectors were trying to trace 21,000 eggs imported from affected farms in the Netherlands between March and June.

In the Netherlands the issue has continued to escalate with a spokesman for the Dutch farmers' lobby LTO saying that the crisis could force authorities to cull millions of chickens.

The likelihood of any related food illnesses from consuming contaminated products is very low.

Some of those eggs had been used in minced beef and luncheon meat but the items had been removed, they said. Consumption of large quantities can harm the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands. They said they had also seized 6,000 litres of "prohibited products" in Belgium. "There was no indication that fipronil may be found also in the eggs", he insisted.

Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Germany as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

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