FSA find no evidence of fipronil in eggs in UK as Germany recalls contaminated Dutch eggs in fipronil scare

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FSA find no evidence of fipronil in eggs in UK as Germany recalls contaminated Dutch eggs in fipronil scare

Six German states have been told to pull some 73,000 eggs from sale after fipronil residue was detected. Agriculture officials in Lower Saxony said the eggs had come from an organic farm in the Netherlands and insisted there was no risk to human health. Fipronil is highly toxic and used as an insecticide to protect crops as well as in veterinary medicine to kill off fleas, lice, ticks, roaches and mites. If a pest infestation at a farm is treated with Fipronil, the animals' skin - or feathers, in case of chickens - could absorb the insecticide. Traces can then also be found in animal products, like eggs. Therefore, it is not allowed on animals intended for food production. Officials said they had now detected traces of the insecticide in samples from a packaging depot in the German town of Vechta.

The residue was above the permitted EU level of 0.005mg per kg, and the highest test showed a level of 0.019mg/kg.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have said that there is no evidence to suggest British eggs are affected by the latest fipronil scare. Last year millions of eggs were pulled from supermarket shelves across Europe because of the fipronil scare. Following the detection of fipronil residues in eggs resulting from a misuse of non-approved veterinary medicinal products in poultry farms against red mites, an ad-hoc monitoring programme was set up in the EU. Member States have provided results for 8,321 samples of eggs and chicken muscle/fat which were analysed for fipronil and several additional active substances which were proposed by the European Commission to be monitored in view of potential misuse in poultry farms against red mites, with a positive sign of no repeat usage to date.




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As a result of last year’s scare over residues of the pesticide Fipronil in eggs in Europe Fera adapted their accredited LCMS technique to help industry understand if their products had the presence of Fipronil, enabling them to take the necessary steps to protect and reassure their customers and the public. With this new scare and the possible impact of retailers pulling eggs from stores to protect their customers Fera is once again well positioned to help industry demonstrate their products are free from Fipronil. Fera has played a leading role in this area for years and is the National Reference laboratory for analysis of pesticides residues. Our history of delivering science for the public good stretches back over 100 years therefore it was important to us to develop a test to protect and reassure their customers and the public.

Avoid contamination to ensure food safety

With the very recent incident highlighted by the Organics Council who had commissioned tests on boxes of organic eggs were found to contain ‘illegal levels of pesticide’ - with a box of 12 eggs found to contain 10 times EU limit of the pesticide cyromazine. Cyromazine is not approved for use in poultry feed in the UK and it was detected at 0.13mg/kg that exceeds the maximum permitted pesticide residue level of 0.01mg/kg for bird eggs in the EU.

We can screen for this pesticide in our multi screen pesticide residue analysis.

Pesticides: The presence of pesticides is one of the most common reasons for border authorities to reject food stuffs coming from producing countries. European Union’s legislation on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) of pesticides establishes the MRLs of pesticides permitted in products of animal and vegetable origin which are intended for human consumption. Read more


Fipronil

Fipronil Analysis

Fera food safety experts can both identify (screen) and quantify Fipronil and metabolite residues within a food sample using state of the art LC-MS/MS equipment. We can offer this test in a range of food samples including eggs.

pesticide residue Analysis

Multi-Pesticide Residue Screen 1 - GCMS

Our triple quadrupole mass spectrometry based methods are highly efficient, with over 100 pesticides included in routine analytical screening for a wide range of sample matrices.

pesticide residues

Multi-Pesticides Residues Screen 2 - LCMS

Our LC-MS methods are highly efficient, with over 350 pesticides included in analytical screening for a wide range of sample types. Fera food safety experts can both identify (screen) and quantify residues within a food sample using state of the art LC-MS/MS equipment.

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