Two detained in Dutch tainted eggs investigation

Belgium Agriculture Minister Denis Ducharme

AFPBelgium Agriculture Minister Denis Ducharme has blamed Dutch authorities for the egg crisis

Dutch investigators on Thursday arrested two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of the pesticide Fipronil at the poultry farms that sparked the scandal.

However, 11 products containing egg - including sandwiches and salads - have been withdrawn from supermarkets.

"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 agency said in a statement.

It said traces of fipronil - which can be harmful to humans - were mixed with other eggs so chemical residues would be "highly diluted".

Health minister Sophia Chan said yesterday that the authorities were "strengthening" inspections of eggs from Europe. Officials in Denmark, Romania and Luxembourg reported that some of the contaminated eggs have been sold in their countries, BBC News reported Friday.

This includes in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and France after authorities confirmed that fipronil had been used.

Several Irish food businesses have been forced to remove products from their shelves after it emerged that Dutch eggs and egg products implicated in a contamination scare have been distributed in Ireland.

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Heather Hancock, FSA chairwoman, said it was not "something to worry about" and that any health impact was unlikely.

In an update on Thursday, the FSA said: "Some of the products made from these eggs will have had a short shelf life and will have already been consumed, however, we identified some that were still within the expiry date".

It insisted there is "no need" for people to stop eating eggs.

"I proposed to hold a high-level meeting gathering the ministers concerned as well as the representatives of the food safety agencies in all member states involved as soon as we have all the facts available", EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said in a statement, which urged cooperation among nations.

But in a sign that the crisis is going global, Brussels announced last Friday that Hong Kong had received some tainted eggs from the Netherlands, with the southern Chinese city becoming the first place in Asia known to be affected.

It is believed that the insecticide got into the food chain when it was illegally added to a product used to treat poultry for lice, fleas and ticks.

"He told the Daily Mail: "'The UK are big consumers of Dutch egg products, so it is clearly possible that these were exported to the UK.

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