Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Europe eggs scandal hits Hong Kong after shipment from contaminated farm revealed

Europe eggs scandal hits Hong Kong after shipment from contaminated farm revealed

The affected European Union countries include Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark.

Millions of eggs have been destroyed or pulled from supermarket shelves since July 20, when it was made public that the pesticide Fipronil, which is unsafe to human health, was found mixed with another treatment sprayed on chickens for ticks, fleas and lice, known as Dega 16.

Europe's latest food scandal has widened after the European commission announced that a total of 15 EU states, plus Switzerland and Hong Kong, are now known to have received egg products contaminated by an insecticide harmful to human health. Heavy and prolonged exposure can damage the kidneys and liver or cause seizures.

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

The tested samples showing unsafe levels of Fipronil are sold under the product name Cheer Fresh Dutch Brown Eggs.

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Shell shock The Netherlands, one of the largest exporters of eggs and egg products in the world, is in the eye of a storm over an egg scandal.

"As far as the retail level is concerned, they have also retracted the problematic eggs, as well as increased the surveillance on eggs, especially (those) coming from European countries", Chan said. The EU bans the use of fipronil in the food industry.

Speaking before the centre's revelation on Friday, Anca Paduraru, a commission spokeswoman on public health and food safety, said: "What we know is that eggs were transported from this contaminated farm to Hong Kong".

Egg imports are stringently controlled and only those with recognized health certificates can be imported to Hong Kong, she added.

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