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Food Standards Scotland Update on Fipronil in Eggs

Food Standards Scotland has been liaising with the Food Standards Agency regarding the investigation into the distribution of eggs contaminated with Fipronil in the UK.   

It has now been established that more eggs from affected farms than originally reported have been imported into the UK.  It is very unlikely these eggs pose any risk to public health, but as Fipronil is unauthorised for use in food-producing animals we have acted with urgency to ensure that people in Scotland are protected.

Although some of the products such as sandwich fillings or other chilled products made from these eggs had a short shelf life and will have already been eaten, we have identified some that are still within the expiry date. These are now being withdrawn by the businesses involved. Attached is the list of products identified to date.

It is likely that the number of eggs that have come to the UK is closer to 700,000 than the 21,000 we were previously informed had been imported. Food Standards Scotland and the Food Standards Agency are committed to ensuring that food is safe. Initial information was that products containing affected eggs had not been distributed to Scotland, but as the number of affected eggs imported to the UK is greater than originally thought, it is possible that some products containing them may have been distributed here. However, as this represents 0.007% of the eggs consumed in the UK every year, it remains the case that it is very unlikely that there is any risk to public health from consuming these foods.

We are reminding food businesses in Scotland of their legal responsibilities which include informing the relevant local authorities immediately if they have any reason to believe that a food which they have imported, produced, processed, or distributed does not comply with food safety requirements. This allows the relevant competent authority and us to advise them on appropriate actions to take. We are grateful to the food businesses who have provided the information we have published on withdrawn products.

85% of the eggs we consume in the UK are laid here. We have no evidence that eggs laid in Scotland are contaminated or that Fipronil has been used inappropriately in Scotland.  Testing of eggs in Scotland is underway and results will be published as soon as they are available. 

We will provide further updates on this investigation as more information becomes available.