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27-10-2017 16:Oct:th

Contaminated egg scandal rumbles on

At the height of the egg crisis, 281 factory egg farms in the Netherlands were closed down. The farms have been stopped from selling eggs and chicken meat because their products contain too much of the banned pesticide fipronil to be sold for human consumption. A spokesman for the European Commission told a sitting of the European parliament’s agriculture committee that contaminated eggs have been found in 22 countries within and outside the EU. Several countries outside the EU have received large quantities of the eggs and eggproducts that contain contaminated eggs.

Ukraine and Oman have imposed an import ban on eggs from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium. Meanwhile, it now transpires that the use of fipronil as a chicken de-lousing agent is more widespread than thought. In Italy a consignment of eggs from Romania has been found to have 1.2 milligrams of fipronil per kilo, the highest concentration yet found. The legal limit is 0.72 milligrams.

The Dutch contamination originated at a small company called Chickfriend. Its owners were arrested and are facing prosecution. According to a spokesperson, Chickfriend’s Belgian supplier bought the oils used as a delouser from a Romanian firm. It appears that Romania might be the source of the contaminant. The EU’s rapid alert system RASFF has also recorded reports of fipronil-contaminated eggs which were produced in Italy, Hungary, Poland and Germany as well as Romania.
EU countries are now working on recalling millions of products that were produced with contaminated eggs and egg derived profducts, that are widely used in other foods like pastry, sauces and eggbased meals and used and sold all over the world in catering and food industries.

22-09-2017 01:Sep:nd

Food safety could soon have an annual dedicated day

CodexThe 40th session of an FAO Conference adopted a draft resolution last month with a view to having the General Assembly of the United Nations consider, at is next session in September to declare 7 June as World Food Safety Day. “World Food Safety Day will raise awareness of the global threat posed by foodborne diseases and reinforce the need for governments, the food industry and individuals to do more to make food safe and prevent these diseases,” said Ren Wang, director FAO department of agriculture and consumer protection.

The Joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission made the proposal to create such a day on a permanent basis at its 39th Session in Rome in 2016. Food safety was the theme of World Health Day in April 2015.

Awilo Ochieng Pernet, chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, said it would enhance consumer health protection and lead to a reduction in foodborne diseases. "The World Food Safety Day will contribute to raising awareness about the importance of food safety among all relevant stakeholders including the public and private sectors and all actors in the food chain, from primary producers to consumers.”

04-08-2017 16:Aug:th

Belgian-Dutch Fipronil eggs scandal expands

eiThe Dutch food and product safety board has locked down more than 20 egg farms, because they are suspected of using an illegal insecticide called Fipronil to control red mite.

Latest estimates from the government agency are that 200 farms are involved, but in what scope is not yet known. Earlier, after the first alarms went off in Belgium, 4 Dutch farms tested positive for residues in eggs above the maximum residue limit of 0,005 mg/kg. Although there is no immediate danger to public health, farms that produce eggs above the threshold cannot go on the market. Some experts expect that traces of the insecticide can stay in the abdominal fat of the layers for up to 8 month, rendering them worthless.

Cause of the contamination

As the scandal unfolds, more and more details are surfacing on the cause of the contamination. Most of the farms had their houses and/or birds treated by a Dutch firm called Chickfriend. This company bought a product from a Belgian company. The owner of a pest control company in the Belgian Ravels-Weelde is suspected of having added Fipronil to an authorised drug for red mite control and then resold this mixture. The company would have added Fipronil to the product Dega-16. Dega-16 is a natural product consisting of menthol and eucalyptus, which is used to control red mite in laying hens and is –by itself- safe, even for human consumption.

The Belgian government started the investigation after an egg processor in the Belgian town of Sint-Niklaas reported to the Federal Food Safety Authority (FAVV) that it had found Fipronil in eggs. After further research the Belgian authorities informed the European food safety warning system RASFF, because they had leads that the eggs were being exported to France, Germany, Italy and Poland. This, in turn, alerted the Dutch officials to start to look into the matter.

02-08-2017 05:Aug:nd

Dutch foodsafety authority issues recall of tainted eggs

eiNVWA, the Dutch foodsafety authority issued a inmediate warning about certain badges of Dutch eggs tainted with the pesticide fipronil. The eggs are recalled from stores and traders. Consumers are adviced to check the badges on the NVWA website.
In 1 batch the amount of fipronil, a pesticide not allowed to be used in farming hens, in the eggs was found so high that eating the eggs could be harmful.
Other batches are tainted, and not fit to be used as food. (Dutch)

31-07-2017 19:Jul:st

EU meat crime revealed to be on a ‘wide scale’

Investigations in Spain and Italy found that substituting poultry or turkey for veal was commonplace. Twenty out of 25 veal kebab samples analysed in Spain were found to contain chicken with six containing more than 60 per cent chicken. In Italy some ‘veal products’ were found to contain only turkey. In France tests on fresh sausage, merguez, kebabs, salamis and cured meats found the presence of undeclared pork in 11 per cent of samples and poultry in 5 per cent. Tests in Spain highlighted the ‘frequent presence’ of undeclared poultry and turkey mechanically separated meat (MSM) in kebabs sold to consumers as veal. The presence of MSM is often revealed by higher than expected calcium levels in meat. MSM is derived from meat scraps left on animal carcasses containing calcium. Undeclared MSM was also found in a popular type of salami bought in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Audits by EU food and Veterinary Office have found MSM to be misleadingly or fraudulently described in products as ‘Baader meat’, ‘viande gros grains’, ‘ground meat 3mm’ or even ‘minced meat’.

Prof. Chris Elliott from Queen’s University Belfast, and author of the “Elliott review into food integrity” in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, said: ‘It is clear that food fraud is happening on a wide scale across Europe and that meat, particularly processed meat is highly vulnerable. I have a strong belief that when fraud is looked for in a targeted and systematic approach it will be found and will be linked to organised criminal activity.’

Other frauds revealed in the report include the bulking out of meat products with water and the misuse of additives particularly in “marinated meats” that sit in a grey area between ‘meat preparations’ and ‘meat products’ that are allowed to use a greater number of additives.

The BEUC report is calling for more frequent checks on labels for meat-based products along with more systematic controls on the addition of water and stricter controls on the use of food additives. The consumer groups are also calling for food fraud to remain high on the EU agenda with the need for the Council and European Parliament to provide 'an effective legal framework to better detect, dissuade and punish fraud.’ 

Prof Elliott said: ‘I fully support BEUC's view on keeping food fraud high on the EU agenda and think the same message is needed for our own and other EU governments.’

source: CIEH-UK

03-04-2017 06:Apr:rd



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