U.K. Raises Contaminated Eggs Estimate as Products Recalled

  • Sainsbury, Morrison, Asda products recalled by authorities
  • Arrests made in relation to outbreak, Dutch prosecutor says

Farmers throw out eggs after the Dutch Food and Welfare Authority (NVWA) highlighted the contamination of eggs by fipronil in Onstwedde, Netherlands, on Aug. 3, 2017.

Photographer: Patrick Huisman/AFP/Getty Images

The U.K. raised its estimate of eggs contaminated by the unauthorized pesticide fipronil, with the outbreak believed to have affected some products made by major supermarkets.

“We have now established that more eggs from affected farms than previously identified came to the U.K.,” the Food Standards Agency said in a statement, raising its estimate to 700,000 from 21,000.

Products will be withdrawn due to the chemical’s unauthorized status, rather than a specific safety concern. Processed food products are likely to have been affected, including salads and sandwiches made by Sainsbury Plc, Wm Morrison Plc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Asda.

The contaminated eggs are likely to have been mixed with non-contaminated eggs, diluting the amount of fipronil that could be consumed. It is “very unlikely” there is any risk to public health, the FSA said.

The outbreak is believed to have originated in the Netherlands, the European Union’s biggest egg exporter, according to Eurostat data. Local authorities arrested two men in relation to the fipronil use Thursday, according to the Dutch public prosecutor.

— With assistance by Joost Akkermans

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