Eggs scandal: EU food safety chief calls for end to 'blaming'

Eggs scandal: EU food safety chief calls for end to 'blaming'

Eggs scandal: EU food safety chief calls for end to 'blaming'

11 August 2017
From the section Europe
EggsImage copyright PA

The EU's food safety commissioner has called for an end to "blaming and shaming" between countries, after eggs were found to contain traces of an insecticide dangerous to humans.

Vytenis Andriukaitis said EU ministers and regulators should meet urgently.

Eggs, coming mainly from the Netherlands, have been found to contain fipronil, which is banned by the EU in the food industry.

A row has erupted over how long Belgian and Dutch authorities have known.

On Thursday, investigators arrested two people in raids on companies in the Netherlands and Belgium.

What do we know about the Europe egg scare?

The UK food watchdog also said about 700,000 eggs have been sent to the UK from potentially contaminated Dutch farms, up from an earlier estimate of 21,000.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it was very unlikely that there was a risk to public health.

In the UK, processed foods containing eggs, including sandwiches and salads, have been recalled from Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda.

Supermarkets in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have withdrawn millions of eggs from sale.

Should I stop eating eggs?

Image copyright AFP

By James Gallagher, health and science reporter, BBC News

Fipronil should not be allowed anywhere near food.

But the risk from eggs is thought to be low, because the number of contaminated eggs is also low.

While 700,000 eggs sounds like a lot, it is worth remembering we eat 34 million every single day in the UK.

It is why the Food Standards Agency says it is "very unlikely" there is any health risk.

Many of the affected eggs will have already passed through the food chain before anyone was aware of the scandal.

And the FSA has now pulled egg sandwiches and egg salads off the shelves that were made while contaminated eggs were still being imported.

It insisted there is "no need" for people to stop eating eggs.