Hungary pulls tainted egg products from shelves

Hungary on Tuesday became the latest European country to withdraw egg products imported from Germany containing the insecticide fipronil.

The EU member state's agency Nebih said it had ordered the withdrawal of Asian-style frozen foods imported from Germany by a Hungarian catering trade supplier.

"The Hungarian firm supplied catering units exclusively," Nebih said, adding that all of the suppliers' clients have been informed of the withdrawal order.

The move followed a notification by Germany to the EU's safety alert system that traces of fipronil had been found in the products of the exporter, Nebih said in a statement posted on its website.

The insecticide has now been discovered in eggs in 17 European countries since the scandal came to light at the start of August and was even found as far away as Hong Kong.

Millions of eggs have been pulled from and dozens of poultry farms closed, with the European Commission due to hold a crisis meeting in September.

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

Belgium became the first country to officially notify the EU's food safety alert system of the presence of tainted eggs on July 20, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.

However, the news did not go public until August 1.

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

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© 2017 AFP

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