New fipronil contamination brings call for egg testing

UK egg processing trade body British Lion Egg Processors is urging for random testing of imported eggs and egg products in the wake of a new European fipronil contamination.

According to agriculture chiefs in Germany’s Lower-Saxony, thousands of eggs have been recalled after sampling at a packing station found more than the permitted level of fipronil residue in eggs from a farm in the Netherlands.

The maximum permitted level according to EU regulations is 0.005 mg/kg, and fipronil levels of 0.014; 0.019 and 0.007 mg/kg were detected. German authorities said these did not present a risk to health.

Last year, products including bakery mixes and liquid egg were withdrawn from sale in the UK as a precautionary measure following a widespread contamination scandal that included the recall of 700,000 eggs distributed to the UK.

British Lion Egg Processors – which represents UK egg suppliers – today said it was “disappointed” that another fipronil incident has been reported, and called on the Food Standards Agency to launch a programme of random testing of eggs and egg products arriving in the UK.

“Unfortunately, we are not surprised by these developments as we have been concerned for some time that the initial issues following the product recalls we saw last year have not been thoroughly resolved,” said Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC).

“We are asking the Food Standards Agency to take decisive action to protect UK food businesses, and are calling for random testing of all imported eggs and egg products.”

BEIC said the majority of eggs imported into the UK were used for processing or the food manufacturing industry.

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