Tainted eggs confirmed outside EU

Hong Kong enhances checks on eggs from Europe

Contaminated eggs scandal hit 15 EU states, besides Switzerland, Hong Kong: EC

Several producers in the Netherlands and Belgium are under investigation after eggs were found to have been treated with a product containing pesticide Fipronil.

With concern going global, the commission said it had now called a meeting of ministers and food safety chiefs from affected European Union countries, setting a provisional date of September 26.

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 risky to human health, was found mixed with another treatment sprayed on chickens for ticks, fleas and lice, known as Dega 16.

France has also confirmed one farm in the Nord-Pas de Calais region was found to have used Fipronil, and is now blocked from selling eggs.

The European Commission (EC) has said a total of 15 EU states besides Switzerland and Hong Kong, are now known to have received egg products contaminated by an insecticide harmful to human health.

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.

But the World Health Organization said that, when digested in large quantities, the chemical could cause harm to the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

Police arrested two people on Thursday in raids on companies in the Netherlands and Belgium.

"The Centre for Food Safety is now inspecting eggs coming from Europe closely, no matter at the import, or at the retail level", Chan said.

"Blaming and shaming will bring us nowhere and I want to stop this", Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European Commissioner for health and food safety, told AFP as he announced the meeting. "We don't know yet if there is an impact on Hong Kong".

Its competitor, Wellcome, went further and claimed its customers could obtain a refund on the purchase of eggs from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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