Dutch police make arrests in contaminated eggs case

Belgium Agriculture Minister Denis Ducharme

Belgium Agriculture Minister Denis Ducharme

The administration had earlier this week said Denmark was unaffected by the tainted egg scandal spreading across Europe.

Eggs, coming mainly from the Netherlands, were found to contain fipronil, a substance used to kill lice and ticks on animals that is banned by the European Union for use in the food industry.

"Our inspectors are monitoring poultry farms around the country", she added.

The scandal has proven to be far-reaching, with poisonous eggs being found in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden.

British Lion Code eggs have been tested by the Food Standards Agency and have proven to be perfectly safe.

"It is likely that the number of eggs that have come to the United Kingdom is closer to 700,000 than the 21,000 we previously believed had been imported", said the Food Standards Agency, a government department.

Agency chairwoman Heather Hancock said: "The number of eggs involved is small in proportion to the number of eggs we eat, and it is very unlikely that there is a risk to public health".

"Blaming and shaming will bring us nowhere and I want to stop this", Mr Andriukaitis, the Lithuanian commissioner, said.

The news comes as investigators carried out coordinated raids linked to the Fipronil probe in Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, the country's food safety regulator said two men who are directors of the firm, Chickfriend, were arrested today after raids in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Products affected by the recall were processed foods, in which egg was one ingredient among many others.

The investigation began in mid-July after Fipronil was found in quantities of Dutch exported eggs in many European countries.

In total the Intelligence and Investigation Services of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA-IOD) searched on eight different Dutch locations.

But it did say that all egg imports undergo "periodic analysis and inspection" at ministry food laboratories, and now meet all approved standards.

A row has erupted over how long Belgian and Dutch authorities have known about the contamination.

A Dutch farming organisation has said that several million hens may need to be culled across 150 companies in the country, and that 300,000 have already been killed.