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17 August 2017, 15:09
A small amount of liquid eggs from overseas farms linked to a contamination scare has been received by food firms in Scotland, but there is unlikely to be any risk to public health, according to a watchdog.
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) said the products were immediately taken off the market.
It emerged last week that hundreds of thousands of eggs from Dutch farms implicated in the Fipronil insecticide contamination scare had been distributed to Britain, with some supermarkets taking certain products off their shelves.
FSS said investigations revealed "a small amount of liquid eggs from implicated farms was received by food businesses in Scotland who took immediate action to remove the products from sale".
The watchdog stressed: "It remains the case that it is very unlikely there is any risk to public health from eating these foods, and the decision to withdraw these products is not due to food safety."
Fipronil is an anti-tick and flea pesticide authorised in the EU for use in veterinary medicine, but it is banned in products destined for the human food chain.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) last week revealed around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms connected to the scare have been distributed to Britain. The FSA stressed at that stage that it was "very unlikely" the eggs posed a risk to public health.
Food Standards Scotland said it is continuing to liaise with the FSA over the ongoing investigation into foods which may contain egg from farms in the Netherlands which used Fipronil to treat egg-laying hens.
In a statement issued on Thursday, FSS said: "Fipronil in the low doses we are seeing in affected eggs poses no risk to health, but it shouldn't be there as it's not authorised for use in food-producing animals.
"This investigation has now found that a small amount of liquid eggs from implicated farms was received by food businesses in Scotland who took immediate action to remove the products from sale."
Most of the egg products identified were imported in a liquid or powdered form so it is not possible to state how many eggs are involved, FSS said.
The watchdog added: "It remains the case that it is very unlikely there is any risk to public health from eating these foods, and the decision to withdraw these products is not due to food safety.
"There is no evidence that eggs laid in the UK are contaminated, so there is no need for people in Scotland to stop buying or eating whole eggs from shops.
"Testing of eggs on farms continues in Scotland and results to date have been negative."
The current situation is believed to have been caused by the illegal use of the chemical on farms in the Netherlands to combat parasites in chickens, FSS said.
It emphasised the number of eggs involved represents a fraction of a single percentage of the eggs consumed in the UK every year and said there is no need for consumers to be concerned.