"Small quantity" of contaminated eggs entered Irish market

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has said there is no cause for concern

"Small quantity" of contaminated eggs entered Irish market

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A “small quantity” of contaminated eggs made their way into the Irish market in June and July this year.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has admitted the eggs were supplied to food businesses – but insisted there is no cause for concern.

It comes after it was confirmed that some 700,000 eggs believed to have been contaminated with an insecticide in the Netherlands were distributed in the UK.

It was previously thought that only 21,000 had been imported into Britain.

Millions of eggs have been recalled in eight countries across Europe in the past week.

Fipronil

The scandal revolves around the chemical insecticide Fipronil which is used in veterinary products to treat ticks and fleas.

The EU has banned its use with animals destined for human consumption.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers the insecticide to be "moderately hazardous" and says it can have dangerous effects on the liver, kidneys and thyroid glands.

In a statement this afternoon the FSAI said “very small quantities of boiled eggs” were supplied to nine catering outlets in Ireland in June.

It said the eggs had a ‘use-by’ date of 17th July and are no longer available.

In early-July meanwhile, a small quantity of “liquid pasteurised egg” was supplied to a number of food businesses for use in bakery products.

These eggs had a ‘use by’ date of July 20th.

"Very low" risk to consumer health

The FSAI said all of the food businesses concerned have been contacted and any remaining products have been removed from sale.

“The number of egg products imported is very small,” it said. “The risk to consumer health is very low.”

“Nevertheless, the FSAI will continue to trace any distribution in Ireland.”

The Department of Agriculture meanwhile has said that it carries out tests for Fipronil as part of its annual testing programme – with no positive samples detected so far this year - or in 2016.

International investigation

The news comes as investigators carried out coordinated raids linked to the Fipronil probe in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Dutch authorities on Thursday arrested two men as part of their investigation into the tainted eggs.

On Wednesday, Belgium accused the Netherlands of being aware of the potential problems and failing to sound the alarm.

But Belgian officials have also admitted they were notified of a problem and failed to trigger the EU's international food safety alert system.

A Dutch farming organisation has said that several million hens may need to be culled across 150 companies in the country, and that 300,000 have already been killed.

In Germany and Holland, supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have already taken millions of eggs off their shelves, in what Aldi said was a "purely precautionary" measure.