About seven hundred,000 eggs have been despatched to the UK from probably contaminated Dutch farms, up from an early estimate of 21,000, the meals watchdog has stated.
The Meals Requirements Company (FSA) said it was impossible that there was a danger to public well being.
Nevertheless, eleven merchandise containing egg – together with sandwiches and salads – have been withdrawn from supermarkets.
Dutch police have now arrested two individuals suspected of utilizing the insecticide fipronil.
The FSA stated the seven hundred,000 determine represented zero.007% of eggs eaten within the UK annually.
What do we know about the Europe egg scare?
It added that within the UK, the Dutch eggs weren’t bought as shell eggs however utilized in meals with many different elements – principally sandwich fillings or different chilled meals.
It stated traces of fipronil – which might be dangerous to people – have been combined with different eggs so chemical residues can be “extremely diluted”.
The British Egg Business Council stated shell eggs on sale to shoppers within the UK weren’t affected.
It stated: “All main UK retailers inventory British Lion shell eggs and tests have proven that there isn’t a danger from British eggs.”
Supermarkets in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have withdrawn hundreds of thousands of eggs from sale.
Twenty tonnes of insecticide-tainted eggs have been sold in Denmark, the nation’s meals security authority says.
Within the UK, processed meals containing eggs, together with sandwiches and salads, have been recalled from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda.
The FSA initially thought far fewer eggs – 21,000 – had been distributed to the UK from implicated farms between March and June this yr.
Prof Chris Elliott, of the Institute for International Meals Safety at Queen’s College Belfast, stated it was not shocking that the determine had elevated by a lot – and warned “the scandal is not over but”.
“Typically when these meals scandals begin to break, you begin to get dribbles of data,” he advised BBC Radio four’s PM programme.
“And because the authorities in Belgium and Holland get extra info they cross that onto our personal Meals Requirements Company.
“The potential is that variety of seven hundred,000 might improve fairly a bit but,” he added.
By James Gallagher, well being and science reporter, BBC Information
Fipronil shouldn’t be allowed anyplace close to meals.
However the danger from eggs is considered low, as a result of the variety of contaminated eggs can also be low.
Whereas seven hundred,000 eggs seems like quite a bit, it’s value remembering we eat 34 million each single day within the UK.
It’s why the Meals Requirements Company says it’s “impossible” there’s any well being danger.
Most of the affected eggs could have already handed via the meals chain earlier than anybody was conscious of the scandal.
And the FSA has now pulled egg sandwiches and egg salads off the cabinets that have been made whereas contaminated eggs have been nonetheless being imported.
It insisted there’s “no want” for individuals to cease consuming eggs.
Fipronil, which is used to kill lice and ticks on animals, can injury individuals’s kidneys, liver and thyroid glands if eaten in giant portions.
Heather Hancock, FSA chairwoman, stated it was not “one thing to fret about” and that any well being impression was unlikely.
“These aren’t eggs which are in individuals’s fridges within the UK, these are eggs which have gone into the meals chain and the extent of danger to public well being could be very low,” she advised BBC Radio four’s World at One programme.
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In an replace on Thursday, the FSA stated: “A few of the merchandise comprised of these eggs may have had a brief shelf life and may have already been consumed, nevertheless, we recognized some that have been nonetheless inside the expiry date.”
The FSA stated choice to withdraw the merchandise was not on account of meals security considerations however based mostly on the truth that the pesticide shouldn’t be authorised to be used in meals-producing animals.
It added: “Whereas in some European nations eggs containing fipronil residues have been bought as recent eggs, within the UK this isn’t the case.”
Aldi and Lidl shops in Germany are among the many supermarkets to take away eggs from their cabinets, in a transfer Aldi described as “purely precautionary”. Eggs bought in its UK shops have been British, Aldi stated.
Supply: FSA (10 August)
It follows a joint investigation by Dutch and Belgian police of a number of premises considered utilizing the substance, which may hurt people and is banned in meals manufacturing.
The Netherlands is Europe’s largest egg producer – and one of many largest exporters of eggs and egg merchandise on the planet.
The issue first surfaced earlier in August, when Aldi withdrew all its eggs from sale in Germany.
It has since emerged Belgian officers knew concerning the contamination in June, however didn’t make the knowledge public.
Greater than one hundred poultry farms have been closed in the course of the investigation, and 26 suspects recognized and proof seized from their corporations.
It’s thought that fipronil was added to disinfectant used on some hen farms.
The UK produces eighty five% of the eggs it consumes however imports virtually two billion yearly, the FSA stated.
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