The Malta Independent 14 December 2017, Thursday

No contaminated eggs in Malta – Ministry for Health

Sunday, 13 August 2017, 08:00 Last update: about 5 months ago

No contaminated eggs have been imported to Malta, a spokesperson for the Ministry for Health has told The Malta Independent on Sunday.

The EU Commission had confirmed that 15 EU countries as well as Hong Kong and Switzerland have received eggs contaminated with the insecticide fipronil

“The Environmental Health Directorate are monitoring the situation closely through the Rapid Alert System for Feed and Feed on a 24/7 basis, for any possible notifications with respect to the contamination of eggs with the non-authorised drug, fipronil, a product with high potential toxicity,” the spokesperson said.

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“Malta has not been tagged in any of the alerts.”

The newsroom was also informed that the Public Health Lab is also in contact with other accredited foreign laboratories for the analysis of local and imported eggs for the presence of fipronil.

Farms in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France were shut down after authorities confirmed that fipronil had been used, European Commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said on Friday.

The EU countries that have received the eggs are the UK, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Denmark.

A criminal investigation is under way, centring on two firms. Poultry Vision, a pest control firm from Belgium, is alleged to have sold the treatment to a Dutch poultry farm cleaning company, Chickfriend.

More than 100 poultry farms have been closed during the investigation, 26 suspects identified and evidence seized from their companies.

The issue first became public knowledge earlier this month, after supermarket chain Aldi withdrew all its eggs from sale in Germany.

It has since emerged that Belgian officials knew about the contamination in June, but did not make the information public.

Meanwhile, Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme has accused the Dutch authorities of knowing about the problem as far back as November 2016. The food watchdog in The Netherlands has denied the accusation. 

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