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11 August 2017, 12:13 | Bernice Figueroa
France orders national investigation amid Europe tainted egg scandal
Britain'sfood safety watchdog says far more eggs from affected farms have been imported than previously thought.
But considering the figure only represents 0.007 percent of the eggs consumed in the United Kingdom every year, the agency said it is "very unlikely" that there is any risk to public health from consuming these foods.
The detentions and a series of co-ordinated raids in the Netherlands and Belgium marked another escalation in a widening scandal that has seen eggs tainted with Fipronil, which is not permitted for use around food producing animals, stripped from shelves in countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and most recently the UK.
The agency originally estimated that 21,000 contaminated eggs had been shipped to the United Kingdom, some of which may have been consumed, but today substantially increased the figure.
However, 11 products containing egg - including sandwiches and salads - have been withdrawn from supermarkets.
The FSAI said Fipronil is an insecticide which is not permitted for use around food producing animals, while noting that traceability on the eggs from the Netherlands contaminated with Fipronil was continuing.
The eggs at the centre of the scandal have mainly come from the Netherlands, followed by Belgium and Germany.
Yesterday it emerged that Dutch authorities knew as far back as November that some eggs in the country were contaminated with the insecticide - but failed to notify their European partners at the time, claimed Belgium's agriculture minister.
The ensuing food-safety crisis has sparked diplomatic tension, shut hundreds of farms and forced supermarkets to clear eggs from their shelves. "The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are committed to ensuring that food is safe, and that United Kingdom consumers have food they can trust".
FSA chairwoman Heather Hancock said: "I'm confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do".
But it said it was very unlikely that there was a risk to public health.
Authorities suspect Belgian company Poultry Vision of producing a fipronil-laced treatment created to kill mites in chickens. Officials in France, Sweden and Switzerland were also informed of a risk to consumers. Criminal investigationProsecutors in Europe have launched a criminal investigation after millions of eggs were either withdrawn from sale or blocked in Europe following chemical contamination.
Testing of eggs on farms is under way across the United Kingdom and results to date for England and Wales show no exposure to Fipronil.
Last Friday, both ministries had announced that no goods from the affected Dutch and German manufacturers had been sold in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg has since alerted food safety authorities about the incident via the European Union rapid alert network.
It is a "highly toxic" pesticide which could be harmful if ingested but you'd need to have eaten a very large quantity of contaminated eggs for that to happen.
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