Europe’s eggs scandal reaches UK, France
Britain and France say some contaminated eggs may have reached their supermarket shelves as the European egg contamination scandal broadens.
Britain’s Food Standards Agency said on Monday it was “urgently investigating the distribution of these eggs in the UK,” adding that “the number of eggs involved is very small and the risk to public health is very low.”
It did not give the number of imported contaminated eggs in the country, but said it represented 0.0001 percent of eggs annually entering Britain.
The contaminated eggs came from chickens which were fed Fipronil to treat red lice, a parasite in chickens.
“We are working closely with the businesses that have received eggs from affected farms. Investigations to date indicate that any affected products are no longer on the shelves,” the agency said.
Meanwhile, the French government said more than a dozen batches of Dutch eggs contaminated with fipronil have been found at two food-processing factories in central-western France.
The French Agriculture Ministry said they were unable to immediately say whether any of the products had been shipped to customers.
The European Commission said on Monday the eggs under suspicion of contamination had also been distributed to France and Britain via Germany.
“It’s now up to the Swedish, Swiss, French and to the UK to check because all these eggs are traceable and trackable,” Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen told reporters.
Supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have pulled millions of eggs from the shelves since Belgium gave the European Commission the first notification on July 20, while retailers in Sweden and Switzerland have followed suit.
Meanwhile Dutch farming organization LTO said several million hens may need to be culled at 150 companies in the country, with 300,000 having already been killed.
An LTO spokesman said they “had to be eliminated because of contamination.”