Millions of eggs have been recalled from around Europe after it was discovered they contained high levels of a toxic insecticide banned for human consumption.
Millions of eggs have been recalled from across Europe after they were found to contain high levels of a banned insecticide.
The eggs were recalled from warehouses, shops and supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
As reported in the Guardian newspaper about 180 farms have been temporarily closed in the Netherlands after the discovery and a criminal investigation is now underway.
1 million eggs destined for Germany were recalled on the German/Netherlands border this week.
The chemical in question is fipronil, a common ingredient in veterinary products for getting rid of fleas, lice and tickets but banned from being used to treat animals that will end up in the human food chain.
The substance can cause damage to the liver, thyroid glands, and kidneys if injested in large amounts over time.
Belgian police are investigating two companies who specialise in the production of the chemical. It is thought that the chemical was used with legally allowed chemicals for hens and spliced together to improve effectiveness of lice treatment.
Dutch media have reported that the illegal mix has been used there for over a year. Its understood the egg producers also have clients in the UK, Poland and France.
It is unclear how many eggs have ended up in the human food chain as many may have already been eaten by humans.
The investigation has said it suspects the scale of the problem will increase as more farms come under investigation.
The Netherlands has nearly 1000 factory hen farms producing 11bn eggs a year half of which are exported to Germany.