Traces of insecticide fipronil have been found in additional batches of eggs sold in Luxembourg and with two caterers
Traces of insecticide fipronil have been found in additional batches of eggs sold in Luxembourg and with two caterers, meanwhile tests are ongoing.
A joint press statement from Luxembourg's agriculture and health ministries published Wednesday 9 August announced that routine test results received the same day from eggs sold in Cactus were found to contain traces of the insecticide.
The eggs concerned were gathered on 11 July and bore the best before date of 27 July, from producers 2NL4382501 in the Netherlands. The quantity of the insecticide found was 0,008 mg/kg. The statement said Cactus does not buy eggs from Dutch producers, however, in this instance its regular supplier had to source eggs from there exceptionally.
“The supplier has not sourced eggs from the Netherlands since the beginning of July,” the statement read.
Luxembourg has since alerted food safety authorities about the incident via the EU rapid alert network.
Luxembourg caterers Caterman and Carnesa also informed the authorities that it had received two batches of eggs coming from a supplier where contamination had occurred. Part of the batch had been returned to the supplier, while the remainder had been used to prepare minced meat and pâté products. Any remaining meat has been destroyed while tests are ongoing on the pâté, which have been removed from sale.
The press statement said that tests on eggs sold and consumed in Luxembourg are ongoing with results expected at the end of next week.
Fipronil banned for use on animals
Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide which, according to Toxipedia, poses “moderate acute toxicity to people and mammals”. In extreme cases, fipronil poisoning can lead to nausea, vomiting, dizziness and epileptic fits.
It is commonly used to treat fleas and ticks in pets, but is banned for use on animals which are part of the human food chain.
Eggs contaminated by the insecticide were first found in the Netherlands and Belgium in early June, 2017.
The European Commission was made aware of the contamination on 6 July, however, the rapid alert system was not informed until 20 July.
Authorities are now investigating how the insecticide illegally came into contact with poultry.