Fipronil-contaminated eggs found in Poland
General Sanitary Inspectorate announced that eggs contaminated with fipronil, a toxic insecticide, were found in Poland. A batch of contaminated eggs have been imported to the country from Germany. This means Poland is now among the 15 countries affected by the fipronil scare. The eggs, originally from farms situated in the Netherlands, were found in numerous European states as well as Hong Kong.
The eggs were hard-boiled and shell-less, and intended to be used for making foods such as salads and sandwiches. The authorities informed that no eggs reached consumers and cannot be found on shop shelves in the country. Polish consumers do not need to worry about finding them in their fridges. The contaminated batch will be destroyed or returned to the German supplier.
Fipronil, a substance used for killing lice, ticks and other insects, is described by World Health Organisation as “moderately toxic” and may be harmful to people’s kidneys, liver, and nervous system. It cannot be used around animals intended for food production, such as egg lying hens. It was discovered that around 180 chicken farms in the Netherlands had used insecticides containing fipronil which now can be detected in eggs that were exported across Europe.
Whole farms in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France have been shut down and animals killed for fear of food contamination. Food safety agencies decided to recall eggs from supermarket shelves in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis called for an extraordinary meeting of officials to discuss the scandal.
Questions prevail on whether European food safety authorities acted fast enough in this case and duly notified EU countries of the threat. It was discovered Belgian authorities had become aware of fipronil contamination in June but failed to report this to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.
Authorities say that eating contaminated eggs does not pose a serious risk to one’s health as the level of the toxic substance in the eggs is very low.