Otago Daily Times

Eggs not contaminat­ed with lead, tests show

- BRUCE QUIREY bruce.quirey@odt.co.nz

TESTS have found no traces of lead in egg products from Zeagold Food’s main site in Waikouaiti, the company says.

Products and livestock were tested at the company’s poultry sites in Matakana Dr and Inverary St, after a donotdrink notice was issued on Tuesday last week.

Mainland Poultry, the parent company of egg producer Zeagold Foods, had tested frozen liquid egg produced in January and February last year with product from January and February this year, Zeagold Foods general manager Hamish Sutherland said yesterday.

‘‘We found no traces of lead in the egg,’’ Mr Sutherland said.

‘‘This confirms that the intermitte­nt spikes of lead in the water are not being transferre­d into the eggs produced at the site.’’

The tests were conducted by independen­t laboratory AsureQuali­ty this week, he said.

The results were identical across all of the samples.

A specialist vet had advised Zeagold Foods early last week that lead was very unlikely to get transferre­d to eggs.

‘‘The tests that we’ve got back have borne that out,’’ Mr Sutherland said.

The company was awaiting test results for its livestock.

Zeagold Foods has a large site with about 400,000 livestock at Matakana Dr, Waikouaiti.

Its much smaller Inverary St site rears young replacemen­t livestock for laying sites.

The Dunedin City Council is still trying to find the source of the water contaminat­ion in Waikouaiti and Karitane.

Zeagold Foods had maintained contact with the council about progress and to access freshwater for affected staff at the poultry sites.

Asked to comment on the council’s handling of the issue, and the effects on business, Mr Sutherland said the council was obviously working hard to get on top of it.

The company’s focus was primarily making sure its people and livestock were safe and that there was no impact on the food safety of its products.

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