As the investigations into the Fipronil incident in Europe continue, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has established that more eggs from affected farms than previously identified came to the UK. Although it is very unlikely that these eggs pose a risk to public health, the FSA has acted with urgency to ensure that consumers are protected.
The products affected are processed foods in which egg is one ingredient among many others, mostly used in sandwich fillings or other chilled foods. While in some European countries eggs containing Fipronil residues have been sold as fresh eggs, in the UK is not the case.
The FSA has confirmed that it is likely that the number of eggs that have come to the UK is closer to 700,000 than 21,000 previously believed had been imported. However, as this represents 0.007% of the eggs we consume in the UK every year, it remains the case that it is very unlikely that there is any risk to public health from consuming these foods.
Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘I’m confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do. The number of eggs involved is small in proportion to the number of eggs we eat, and it is very unlikely that there is a risk to public health. Based on the available evidence there is no need for people to change the way they consume or cook eggs. However, Fipronil is not legally allowed for use near food-producing animals and it shouldn’t be there.’