More than 700 thousand infected fipronil (insecticide, potentially risky for health) chicken eggs were supplied to Britain from the Netherlands, according to new data, the British Agency on standardization of food products.
Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda have been withdrawing 11 items - including sandwiches and salads - though some may have already been consumed. However, UK egg farms are undergoing checks to ensure this is the case. Though no-one has been reported as falling sick, prosecutors said in a statement that there is evidence that public health has been threatened by "the delivery or application of the biocide Fipronil in poultry houses in the egg sector".
"However, as this represents 0.007 per cent of the eggs we consume in the United Kingdom every year, it remains the case that it is very unlikely that there is any risk to public health from consuming these foods", the statement said.
Instead, national authorities say the contaminated eggs were only circulated in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Denmark.
European Commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said all had received eggs contaminated with the pesticide fipronil, with the Commission adding that a meeting of EU ministers had been provisionally scheduled for September 26th.
Apart from those two countries, there are many more in the continent that have food safety scares.
Fipronil is an insecticide used to kill lice and ticks on household pets such as cats and dogs, and its use is banned in the food industry.
Close to 700,000 eggs in the United Kingdom are believed to have been contaminated.
In light of this recent scandal, millions of chicken eggs have been pulled from European supermarket shelves.
While a large number of contaminated eggs would need to be eaten to affect a person's health, fipronil is considered moderately toxic and can cause damage to the organs.
FSA chairwoman Heather Hancock said: "I'm confident that acting quickly is the right thing to do".
Fipronil is not permitted for use around food-producing animals like hens.
Dutch investigators confirmed they had arrested two managers from farms allegedly using fipronil.