Four supermarkets in the UK including Morrisons have taken products off their shelves in the wake of the egg contamination scare - as the UK Food Standards Agency said yesterday the scale of the problem is higher than previously thought.
About 700,000 eggs from the farms affected by the insecticide are thought to have been sent to the United Kingdom - far more than the 21,000 first estimated.
Some national regulators are also voicing concern that many contaminated eggs may have entered the food chain already, mainly through processed products such as biscuits, cakes and salads. We regularly inspect and conduct sampling of the eggs and hen farms to ensure compliance with our food safety and animal health standards and requirements.
"While in some European countries eggs containing Fipronil residues have been sold as fresh eggs, in the United Kingdom this is not the case", the British agency said.
Investigators in the Netherlands and Belgium carried out coordinated raids on Thursday linked to a probe into the discovery of the insecticide fipronil in European eggs, authorities said.
The eggs may be contaminated with the pesticide Fipronil.
Hong Kong is increasing inspections of eggs imported from Europe, officials said Saturday after some were found to be contaminated with an insecticide in a scandal which has now spread beyond the EU.
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French authorities said that nearly a quarter of a million contaminated eggs were imported to France between April and July, noting there were no health concerns.
The WHO considers Fipronil to be moderately toxic, and says very large quantities can cause organ damage. "The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are committed to ensuring that food is safe, and that United Kingdom consumers have food they can trust". It is "very unlikely" there is any risk to public health, the FSA said.
Millions of eggs have been pulled from shelves across mainland Europe, including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark.
Heather Hancock, FSA chairman, said: 'I'm confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do.
It is believed that Fipronil, used to kill fleas, lice, ticks, roaches and mites, was inadvertently mixed with a cleaning product routinely used in chicken coops.
It is an insecticide which is not permitted for use around food-producing animals.
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