Pos­si­bil­ity of tainted eggs prompts scare in sev­eral Euro­pean na­tions

In­sec­ti­cide fipronil had been found in Bel­gian pro­duc­tion.

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The Euro­pean Union on Mon­day no­ti­fied food safety of­fi­cials in Bri­tain, France, Swe­den and Switzer­land to be on the look­out for con­tam­i­na­tion in eggs af­ter a food scare in Bel­gium, Ger­many and the Nether­lands.

Anna-Kaisa Itko­nen, a Euro­pean Com­mis­sion spokes­woman, said, “We do not know if the eggs are con­tam­i­nated or not, but be­cause of these no­ti­fi­ca­tions, it’s now up to the na­tional au­thor­i­ties to check.”

The scare over con­tam­i­nated eggs, which be­gan in Bel­gium, has led su­per­mar­kets there and in Ger­many and the Nether­lands to clear shelves of the prod­uct as the cri­sis en­tered its third week.

The re­moval of eggs from shops was prompted by the dis­cov­ery of the in­sec­ti­cide fipronil in some ship­ments. The con­tam­i­na­tion is thought to have been caused by the mix­ing of the in­sec­ti­cide with a clean­ing agent used at chicken farms. The scare be­gan July 19 when the gov­ern­ment of Bel­gium said that fipronil had been found in eggs pro­duced there.

Ma­jor su­per­mar­ket chains in Bel­gium, in­clud­ing Del­haize and Col­ruyt, have stopped sell­ing eggs from af­fected farms. In the Nether­lands, one poul­try pro­ducer de­clared bank­ruptcy on Fri­day as a re­sult of the in­sec­ti­cide scare.

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