New Dutch egg safety report shows need for higher standards

Producers of British Lion eggs are calling on the EU to raise egg safety standards across Europe in light of a new Dutch Government report into the fipronil in eggs scandal, which highlighted insufficient food safety standards.

The report into the 2017 scandal concluded that the Dutch egg sector did not have sufficient safeguards in place and knowledge of statutory regulations was ‘too limited’. The report further concluded that ‘…many farms assessed the risks for food safety insufficiently. The red mite issues and the associated risk when using unauthorised means to combat these issues were known in the sector. However, the risks were assessed inadequately or even ignored’.

The report follows further recent major egg safety issues in the US, Germany, Netherlands and Poland:

  • Eggs recalled in the US due to salmonella
  • Eggs recalled in Germany due to salmonella
  • New fipronil incident reported with eggs originating from the Netherlands
  • More than 4 million eggs recalled in Poland due to lasolocid contamination

Ian Jones, British Lion egg processors, said: “It’s great that the Dutch Government has written this report, which along with the recent UK government report, shows that egg production standards in the UK are higher and more effective. 

“Since the fipronil scandal broke last year, a number of UK food businesses have continued to import non-UK eggs and egg products and if they ignore these findings too, then those food manufacturers, caterers, wholesalers and retailers will face criticism of being complicit in supporting standards which can be lower.

“With a number of other major egg safety issues recently reported, including a new fipronil in eggs incident in the Netherlands, we hope that the report acts as a wake-up call for egg producers in Europe and further afield, and that they start to put in place new food safety standards to guard against future incidents.”

The UK is estimated to have imported 1.9bn eggs in 2017. The majority of eggs imported into the UK are destined for processing or the food manufacturing industry.