Cocovite producer Lodewijckx has said customers can be confident its egg products comply with EU fipronil standards.

In the wake of Cocovite-branded egg products being withdrawn in the UK in recent weeks, the Belgium-based business has outlined action it has taken in the wake of the Europe-wide contamination scandal that also affected supermarket products including sandwiches and salads.

Cocovite products withdrawn in the UK included liquid whole egg, yolk and white that were distributed to food manufacturers and catering outlets.

The source of the contamination is believed to have been the use of fipronil – a broad-spectrum insecticide not legal to use near food-producing animals – on farms in the Netherlands to combat parasites on chickens.

“A lot of them used this product to disinfect chicken barns and, in that way, a large number of eggs in the Netherlands and other EU countries were affected with concentrations of fipronil above the EU maximum residue limit,” said Lodewijckx. “Although fipronil is widely used in agriculture, it is forbidden to enter the human food chain and therefore all the eggs from the affected breeding factories were blocked and withdrawn.”

Lodewijckx said news of the issue prompted it to screen all its suppliers of fresh eggs, sending samples to an external laboratory specialising in chemical and pesticide residues in eggs.

It used the results to draw up a ‘whitelist’ of fresh egg suppliers whose eggs comply with European regulations for fipronil.

“As from 27 July 2017, only eggs from these whitelisted suppliers have been processed,” said the company, which is also now testing finished product for fipronil levels and supplying certificates of fipronil analysis for all production batches.

“Thus, customers can be confident that all products made at Lodewijckx’s factory comply with EU standards relating to fipronil,” it stated.