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Sunday 22 October 2017

Irish eggs '100pc safe' as toxic lice fears grow

Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) poultry committee chairman Nigel Renaghan has reassured consumers that Irish eggs are unaffected and 100pc safe. (File pic: PA)
Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) poultry committee chairman Nigel Renaghan has reassured consumers that Irish eggs are unaffected and 100pc safe. (File pic: PA)

A total of 15 European countries have now reported cases of eggs contaminated with a highly toxic lice insecticide.

The insecticide is dangerous to the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

Ireland is among the countries known to be affected by the scandal along with Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark.

However, the Irish Food Safety Authority (FSAI) said the risk to Irish people was "very low" and Ireland imports a "very small" amount of eggs.

The FSAI confirmed that in June very small quantities of boiled eggs were supplied to nine catering outlets in Ireland.

These eggs had a 'use by' date of July 17 and are no longer available.

Similarly, in early July, a small quantity of liquid pasteurised egg (with a 'use by' date of July 20) was supplied to a number of food businesses for use in bakery products.

"All of the food businesses concerned have been contacted and any remaining products removed from sale," its statement said.

"The number of egg products imported is very small. Nevertheless, the FSAI will continue to trace any distribution in Ireland."

Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) poultry committee chairman Nigel Renaghan has reassured consumers that Irish eggs are unaffected and 100pc safe.

Assurance

He advised any concerned consumers to check for the Bord Bia quality assurance mark.

The World Health Organisation considers the insecticide Fipronil to be moderately toxic and says very large quantities can cause organ damage.

It is an insecticide which is not permitted for use around food-producing animals.

Traceability on the eggs from the Netherlands contaminated with Fipronil is continuing, while an emergency EU summit has been called for September.

Millions of hens across Europe may be destroyed and some supermarkets have taken eggs off their shelves.

Close to 700,000 eggs in the UK are believed to have been contaminated.

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