Belgium Aware of Dutch Egg Scandal but Did Not Speak Out

Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said the aim was "to share the information so that everybody knows that it's now also up to the Swedish, Swiss, French and to the United Kingdom national authorities to check".

This afternoon, the agency announced: "The Food Standards Agency is committed to making sure that food is safe".

Supermarket giant Aldi said it was a "purely precautionary" measure and added that eggs sold in its United Kingdom stores were produced in Britain.

"We have known since early June there was potentially a problem with fipronil in the poultry sector", Belgium's food safety agency spokeswoman Katrien Stragier told the BBC.


"As there have been reports from more and more (German) federal states about the discovery of fipronil in eggs, Aldi South and Aldi North have made a decision to remove all eggs from sale across the country", the two operators of Aldi supermarkets said in a joint statement.

"We are working closely with the businesses that have received eggs from affected farms".

Public prosecutors in Belgium and the Netherlands are investigating poultry service providers that are suspected of having added Dega 16 to their products, the European Commission said, without providing further details.

"Somebody must have had criminal intentions when they contaminated eggs with a banned product", Mr Schmidt said.


It is believed the toxic substance was introduced to poultry farms by a Dutch business named Chickfriend brought in to treat red lice, a nasty parasite in chickens.

"Fipronil is not authorised for use as a veterinary medicine or pesticide around food producing animals".

It said that it used a pesticide it got from a Belgian supplier and now there is an ongoing investigation about whether the Dutch company was aware of the toxic insecticide.

It comes after Aldi and Lidl pulled all Dutch eggs from its shelves in Germany last week as the scandal spread through Europe.


The European Union on Monday notified the food safety authorities in Britain, France, Sweden and Switzerland to be on the lookout for contamination in eggs after a food scare in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.


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