According to the latest estimates, around 700,000 eggs from the Netherlands and Belgium contaminated with the pesticide fipronil have reached the UK food market. The symptoms of fipronil poisoning include sweating, nausea, vomiting, head and stomach pain, dizziness and seizures. It’s not certain just how common the use of this substance has been as millions of eggs have been recalled from shops all over Europe and many farms closed as a result.
The contaminated eggs have been used in fresh products such as salads, quiches and sandwiches sold in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda and Morrisons. This case highlights the scale on which supermarkets use eggs in their fresh products that they wouldn’t put on the shelves. The UK imports almost two billion eggs every year.
As fipronil is not legally allowed to be used on or near farmed animals, this raises questions about farming standards. Some farms are believed to have used fipronil containing product as a disinfectant and/or to treat red mite in poultry houses. Red mite are persistent parasites and a common problem in poultry farming. It’s simply not feasible to hold large numbers of birds in confined spaces and avoid diseases, parasite infestation and a range of serious welfare issues.
Why take the risk when giving up eggs is an easy, healthy and ethical decision?
Find out more about eggs in our Cracked guide.
And check out the fabulous Egg Replacer Chart - a must-have for every cook.