Companies taking active efforts to trace eggs and egg products
The food sector has also in Finland taken active efforts to investigate the origin of their products containing eggs and egg preparations and the raw materials of the products, and samples have been taken, where appropriate. In Finland, one lot of whole egg powder in storage has been found to contain fipronil. The lot had been imported from Denmark and the raw materials of the product were from Central Europe.The product has not been used in food and the company had itself immediately banned the use of the product.Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira continuously monitors the situation also in Europe.
Food business companies in several countries have actively traced the origin of eggs, foods containing eggs and egg products after fipronil was found in Dutch, Belgian and German eggs. Fipronil is not authorised for use in production animals. Companies have also taken samples for analysis. Products with concentrations exceeding the limit values set by the European Commission have been withdrawn from the market. Operations have been discontinued on farms where fipronil has been used, and no more eggs can reach the market from these farms.
Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira has compiled guidelines for companies and control authorities to ensure the safety of eggs and foods containing eggs or egg products. These guidelines provide more specific information on the application of the European Commission's limit values for fipronil to various egg products. In case a company in in-house control finds a product in which the limit values are exceeded, the product is destroyed or returned.
"Operators who import, produce, process, manufacture and distribute food products are responsible for ensuring that the products are safe and in compliance with regulatory requirements. In-house control is part of the day-to-day operation of companies and the related requirements apply to all food hazards, not only to fipronil", reminds Dr. Leena Räsänen, Director of Food Safety Department at Evira.
Almost all eggs marketed in Finland are of domestic origin. Evira carries out residue control on Finnish eggs on a regular basis in accordance with a control programme. Evira has the capability to test eggs also for fipronil, and it is to be added in the control programme.
According to the scientific risk assessment made in Germany, the highest fipronil concentration measured in eggs in connection with this incident could cause adverse health effects to children.
"When eggs or egg products are used as an ingredient in e.g. biscuits, their proportion in the product is small. All the data available at present indicates that the products can still be eaten without any concerns", concludes Dr. Räsänen.
For more information, please contact:
Leena Räsänen, Director of Food Safety Department, tel. +358 50 388 6518