Hong Kong scrambles to inspect EU eggs as insecticide found

August 12, 2017

Hong Kong is increasing inspections of eggs imported from Europe, officials said Saturday after some were found to be contaminated with an insecticide in a scandal which has now spread beyond the EU.

Millions of eggs have been pulled from across Europe and dozens of closed since the discovery of fipronil, which can be harmful to humans, was made public on August 1.

But in a sign the crisis is going global, Brussels also announced Friday that Hong Kong had received some tainted eggs from the Netherlands, with the southern Chinese city becoming the first place in Asia known to be affected.

Health minister Sophia Chan said Saturday authorities were "strengthening" inspections of eggs from Europe.

"The Centre for Food Safety is now inspecting eggs coming from Europe closely, no matter at the import, or at the retail level," Chan said.

Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety (CFS) said last Friday it found two samples of eggs from the Netherlands to have exceeded local fipronil limits.

"The CFS has informed the vendors concerned of the irregularities and requested the trade to stop sale and remove from shelves" it said in a statement on its website.

Free range eggs from Spain were seen on sale at a grocery store in east Hong Kong Island Saturday.

The owner said his Spanish had already been checked for chemicals, but that the US and Hong Kong offerings may be "safer".

Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry.

The EU insists there is no threat to human health, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says that when eaten in large quantities it can harm people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

Brussels said the 15 affected EU countries were Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark, along with non-EU Switzerland.

Explore further: Hong Kong, Switzerland, 15 EU states hit by egg scandal: EU

Related Stories

Hong Kong, Switzerland, 15 EU states hit by egg scandal: EU

August 11, 2017
Insecticide-tainted eggs from European poultry farms have now been found in Hong Kong and Switzerland as well as 15 EU countries, the European Commission said Friday.

Contaminated eggs scandal spreads from Europe to Asia

August 11, 2017
A scandal involving eggs contaminated with insecticide spread to 15 EU countries, Switzerland and as far away as Hong Kong on Friday as the European Commission called for a special meeting on the growing crisis.

Europe's tainted egg scare reaches Spain

August 12, 2017
Liquid egg products tainted by fipronil were discovered at a food company in northern Spain, authorities said Saturday, the first time the chemical that has caused a Europe-wide crisis has been detected in the country.

Tainted eggs scare: what we know

August 11, 2017
Europe and now Asia face a growing scandal over the contamination of millions of eggs with the insecticide fipronil, which can be potentially harmful to humans.

Denmark says tainted egg total hits 22 tonnes

August 11, 2017
Two more tonnes of insecticide-contaminated eggs have been discovered in Denmark, bringing the country's total to 22 tonnes, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said Friday.

20 tonnes of contaminated eggs sold in Denmark: food authority

August 10, 2017
Twenty tonnes of fipronil-contaminated eggs have been sold in Denmark, the country's Veterinary and Food Administration said on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Newly deciphered vitamin D regulatory pathway opens doors to clinical research

August 21, 2017
Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have deciphered the molecular mechanisms that underpin how the synthesis of the active form of vitamin D is regulated in the kidney, summing up decades of research in this ...

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.