Tainted eggs found in Hong Kong, checks intensified

Tainted egg scandal France demands more information

Criminal investigations are underway in Belgium and in the Netherlands, where two firms allegedly sold the chemical to a Dutch company specializing in sanitizing poultry farms.

The recall could now be widened to include desserts, mayonnaise, Yorkshire puddings, ice cream, quiches, cakes, pastries and noodles over fears contaminated egg may have been used in the ingredients. "We regularly inspect and conduct sampling of the eggs and hen farms to ensure compliance with our food safety and animal health standards and requirements", the post added.

However, 11 products containing egg - including sandwiches and salads - have been withdrawn from supermarkets. "Many of the eggs involved were mixed with other eggs which have not come from affected farms so Fipronil residues will be highly diluted".

French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said Friday about 250,000 potentially tainted eggs have been removed from grocery shelves in her country since April.

In addition to Spain, the other 15 affected EU countries are Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark, along with non-EU Switzerland.

The FSA initially thought far fewer eggs - 21,000 - had been distributed to the United Kingdom from implicated farms between March and June this year. The figure is up from the 21,000 first estimated, but remains a small percentage of eggs consumed in Europe; 34 million per day are consumed in Britain alone.

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".

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Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety (CFS) said last Friday two samples of eggs from the Netherlands were found to have exceeded local fipronil limits.

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

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

The Netherlands is Europe's biggest egg producer - and one of the largest exporters of eggs and egg products in the world.

It's 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.

Dutch farms produce billions of eggs each year, the majority for the export market.

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