Fears over dioxins in food from egg batch
Fourteen tonnes of contaminated liquid egg that originated on continental Europe has entered the UK, health chiefs have said.
The EU executive said the processed foodstuff -- destined for use in goods like pastries and mayonnaise -- had been exported to Britain but said there was a very low risk to human health.
Public health officials are now trying to determine if and how the liquid egg has entered the food chain.
The alert came after it was discovered that poultry feed contaminated by toxic dioxins was sent to more than 1,000 poultry and pig farms in Germany. Some of the eggs from those farms were then transported to Holland.
"These eggs were mixed with other non-contaminated eggs to make pasteurised liquid egg. This pasteurised liquid egg has been distributed to the UK," said the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA).
"The mixing of the eggs will have diluted the levels of dioxins and they are not thought to be a risk to health.
"The FSA is currently liaising with the industry and will provide further updates as information becomes available."
European Commission health spokesman Frederic Vincent described how the problem had now reached Britain.
"Those eggs were ... processed and then exported to the United Kingdom ... as a 14-tonne consignment of pasteurised product for consumption," he told reporters.
"Whether it went into mayonnaise, pastries, I don't know. So we will probably take a look at this with the UK authorities and see what was done with these eggs."
The problem appears to have originated when oils intended for bio-fuel became mixed with oil destined for animal feed.
The dioxin was discovered in late December but the extent of the problem was only revealed this week when German officials said 3,000 tonnes of feed were affected.
Germany has closed more than 4,700 farms as a result of the scare.