Poison eggs debacle cost supermarkets millions

brown eggs unknown Wikimedia commons

The supermarket sector suffered "fairly substantial" damages that can amount to millions of euros as a result of fipronil contaminated eggs, René Roorda, director of the central bureau of foodstuffs trading CBL said to ANP.

Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA recalled and destroyed eggs from 200 Dutch poultry farms because they may contain too high quantities of insecticide fipronil. Fipronil is used to fight ticks, fleas and lice and is considered by the World Health Organization to be "moderately toxic" to humans. High quantities of fipronil can cause liver, kidney and thyroid gland damage.

Removing the contaminated eggs from the shelves and returning them required extra manpower, Roorda said. The CBL is talking to suppliers about who will reimburse the damages.

According to Roorda, the fipronil crisis was luckily limited to only eggs. "Egg salad and apple pie in the supermarket can simply be bought", he said to the news wire.

Food company Unilever also said on Wednesday that its products "containing egg do not constitute a risk and are safe for sale and consumption". 

The NVWA previously stated that while products like mayonnaise, pasta and chocolate may contain fipronil due to contaminated eggs, the concentration will likely be very diluted.