Crisis of contaminated eggs: all there is to know

It was on August 2 when alarms in Europe went off, although the news did not officially reach our country until a day had passed. In the Netherlands the food alarm was triggered by the existence of eggs contaminated with a toxic pesticide.

As alerted from the Dutch food control system and responsible for food safety in this country (NVWA), alerted about the existence of a series of batches of eggs contaminated with fipronil, a toxic pesticide, which were not only sold in the country but also exported - at first it was believed only to Germany.

Thus, at that time, the European Commission (EC) itself claimed that they were already investigating the extent of these items of eggs, and that the situation was "under control", providing peace of mind to European consumers, who "can eat eggs Safely".

However, as it has been known today, there are already 17 European countries affected, studying if this contaminant could also have affected chicken meat. However, for our peace of mind, the Spanish Agency for Consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN) has ensured that the contaminated food has not been distributed to Spain.

Be that as it may, we must bear in mind that in the Netherlands at the beginning there were many doubts and greater alarm as a result of the confusion generated by the Dutch food agency itself, given that at first it indicated that the levels of the contaminant did not pose a risk to health, to finally launch an alert on specific series.

What is the affected contaminated egg consignment?

According to the information provided so far, The affected item is white eggs with label X-NL-40155XX, so that the Dutch government advises "not eating" any egg that has this labeling because "its high content of fipronil" could mean "a serious threat to public health".

Meanwhile, the food alert grows in Europe due to the large number of affected countries, among which, for the moment, Spain is not. And the alarm is not only related to white eggs labeled with the affected number, but ultimately to the arrival of eggs from farms where fipronil was used.

The reason is that there is evidence that would allow to affirm that the use of fipronil in these poultry farms, a pesticide totally prohibited for the disinsection of poultry, has been premeditated. In fact, security forces in the Netherlands and Belgium have undertaken coordinated operations in the registration of several companies that commercialize Fipronil, while in the Netherlands two suspects have been arrested in this case.

Why is there so much alarm in Europe?

The reason we must find it especially in that The Netherlands is the largest producer and exporter of eggs in the European Union

Moreover, according to data provided by the Spanish International Trade Center, only last year Spain imported more than 4,500 tons of eggs from the Netherlands. And not just fresh, cooked or dried eggs, but also egg yolks and related by-products.

What is fipronil? What effects does it have on our health and how dangerous is it?

Fipronil is a pesticide commonly used to kill lice and fleas in animals, admitted in fact in dogs and cats, but whose use is totally prohibited in animals that are part of the food chain.

In fact, it is one of the ingredients that we usually find in the composition of some antiparasitic pipettes, that we can find in supermarkets and animal stores to end fleas, lice and ticks of our pets.

And how did this pesticide reach the eggs?It is believed that Chickfriend, the company responsible for pest control in the Netherlands, used this compound for the treatment of red mite in chickens

This pesticide was applied on the plumage of the hens, but it has ended up moving to the egg. And finally, since its shell is porous, it has contaminated it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the pesticide fipronil as "moderately dangerous", and although the health authorities consider that their health risk is minimal, it is considered to be toxic when consumed in high quantities.

When its consumption is high, it can cause damage to the liver, kidneys or thyroid. In addition, it can cause vomiting, nausea and dizziness.

They find in Spain a game of contaminated liquid egg

On August 12, 2017, we learned that the Spanish Ministry of Health alerted the Government of the Basque Country in order to carry out an immediate inspection of a consignment of 20,000 units of liquid egg contaminated with fipronil in a Bizkaia company, to avoid its distribution and control it on time.

It is the first batch of products contaminated by this insecticide that is recorded in our country. And, for the peace of all, the product has been detected before entering the food distribution chain, so there is no risk to public health, as it will be destroyed in the coming days.

More information: El País / 20 Minutos This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.

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