European commission on fipronil levels in food

The European Commission has sent the following message regarding the testing of eggs, products containing eggs and chicken meat for fipronil. This message is not an invitation to operators to undertake immediate testing. The message provides the Commission's view on the limit values to be applied, if products are analysed.

Based on the available information and to ensure a high level of human health protection, the Commission services are of the opinion that the following measures are to be taken as regards processed products:

  • In case of finding of a level of fipronil in a processed food above the legal limit of 0.005 mg/kg (taken into account the changes in concentration due to drying, dilution, processing or relative proportion of the ingredient (egg/chicken meat) in the processed food), the contaminated lot of processed food has to be taken from the market.
  • All farms where the suspected company/companies have performed a treatment since January 2017 have been identified and blocked. They are only released if samples demonstrate compliance with the maximum residue limit. In case the sample indicates a non-compliance the farms remain blocked and the eggs/chicken meat are withdrawn from the market. These eggs/chicken meat have to be destroyed and cannot be used for production of food. In case the analytical result in the eggs/chicken meat is above the 0.72 mg/kg (possible acute health risks), the eggs/chicken meat have to be in addition recalled from the consumer and the products processed thereof traced and withdrawn from the market.
  • In addition, it is important to stress that, according to EU legislation, every food business operator has the obligation to ensure that the ingredients/raw materials used for the production of food are compliant with EU legislation. Therefore the food business operator must ensure that the eggs/egg products/chicken meat used for the production of food is compliant with the EU MRL on fipronil.