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Fipronil Contamination in Eggs

Several European Countries as well as Hong Kong and Switzerland have received eggs contaminated with the insecticide fipronil, the European Commission says.

The Fipronil Eggs contamination is an incident in Europe involving the spread of insecticide contaminated eggs and egg products. The scare started in the Netherlands and Belgium and it is thought that Dutch disinfectant is at fault. Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves in more than a dozen European countries after it was discovered that some had been contaminated with the potentially harmful insecticide fipronil.

What is fipronil?

Fipronil is an insecticide which belongs to the phenylpyrazole chemical family. Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks. The World Health Organization (WHO) says fipronil is "moderately toxic" to people if it is eaten in large quantities, and can have dangerous effects on the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands. And fipronil is banned by the European Union for use on animals destined for human consumption, such as chickens. The Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of fipronil in eggs is set at the detection limit of 0.005 mg/kg within the European Union, as is outlined in Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005.

Should people stop eating eggs in EU?

The Food Standards Agency says it is "very unlikely" there is any health risk. The risk from fipronil contaminated eggs is thought to be low, because the number of contaminated eggs is also low. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment calculates that an adult weighing 65kg (143lb) would be able to eat up to seven eggs within 24 hours and still be within the safe range. It insisted there was "no need" for people to stop eating eggs.

How to monitor fipronil in real-time?

Creative Diagnostics offers customized service for rapid, easy-to-use fipronil lateral flow tests which would realize real time monitoring.

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