THE FOOD STANDARDS Agency (FSA) has been working hard to find out whether eggs or eggs prodcts containing the banned insecticide fipronil are circulating in the UK. As a result, the Agency has now published a new product recall list.
Not all eggs purchased from Holland, the main source of the contamination, or the affected farms in other parts of Europe, will definitely be affected. The FSA has decided that a product will be withdrawn if the amount of “implicated” egg constitutes more than 15% of the product.
Although Fipronil is banned for human consumption, the FSA has decided that the risk from consuming small amounts of the substance is so low that it will set the bar above zero and has devised what it considers a proportionate response.
The FSA investigation has involved meetings with “industry” to establish where food processors source their eggs. It is also putting the onus on food producers: businesses must withdraw products or be able to demonstrate that the egg they contain came from a clean source. The food items on the new product withdrawal list are mainly items likely to be used in the catering industry or the food processing industry itself.
The FSA has tested eggs produced in the UK as a precautionary measure and to date all UK eggs have been clear of fipronil. The FSA has advised the public that they can carry on buying and eating fresh eggs as usual.
The FSA investigation is continuing and the Agency will update the public as more information comes to light. Criminal investigations continue in Europe.
FSA list of withdrawn products