Germany recalls 73K Dutch eggs contaminated by insecticide

German authorities have pulled some 73,000 Dutch eggs from supermarket shelves after they were found to be contaminated with fipronil, the same insecticide that sparked a huge food scare previous year. The Agriculture Ministry of the state of Lower Saxony has today (12 June) confirmed that approximately 73,000 eggs due to be sold across six German states are contaminated with the insecticide.

The maximum permitted level according to European Union regulations is 0.005 mg / kg.

The state government in the north-western state of Lower Saxony said yesterday (11 June) tests on batches of organic eggs from the Netherlands had found residue levels of 0.014 milligrams, 0.019mg and 0.007mg per kilogram of fipronil.

Fipronil is an insecticide and can not be used for animals intended for the food chain. It said only that the eggs were packed in the town of Vechta, 48 miles from the German city of Bremen.

Fipronil residues detected did not exceed levels considered by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) as potentially harmful to health.

Last year's fipronil scandal led to more than 100 farms being shut down in the Netherlands, where the crisis emerged and eggs and products containing eggs being withdrawn from stores across Europe, including the UK. A second round of tests has been conducted and the results are expected later this week. Ten farms closed at the time have yet to reopen.

Reports suggested that the insecticide may have originated in contaminated soil at the poultry farm in question. However, although foods were taken off shelve in the United Kingdom, investigations found no evidence of fipronil on British farms. It certainly does sound like a residue issue.

"It puts Dutch eggs in a bad light again". Germany is the biggest market for Dutch eggs.

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