British food safety authorities say far more eggs possibly tainted with the pesticide Fipronil have been imported to the United Kingdom from elsewhere in Europe than previously thought.
Fipronil is a pesticide used in some disinfectant products and is banned in products around food-producing animals.
Fipronil is not permitted for use around food-producing animals like hens. But according to the media Dutch it is ChickFriend, widely challenged by the affected farmers. But they say the number is a tiny fraction of the eggs consumed each year in the country.
The spiralling scandal also spread to an eighth country, Luxembourg, which announced that it too had found eggs containing the insecticide fipronil, which can be harmful to human health.
Products affected by the recall were processed foods, in which egg was one ingredient among many others.
United Kingdom grocers Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose have recalled pre-packed sandwich and salad lines found to have contained eggs contaminated with the fipronil insecticide said to have been used by a Dutch poultry services company to combat lice in chickens.
The agency is "urgently investigating" the issue, but to the best of their knowledge, the affected products are no longer on shelves.
The minister said the move comes in a hope to have "much more fruitful and rapid exchanges of information" with his European Union (EU) partners in the future.
A spokesperson from Asda said: "Customers should be reassured by the FSA's explanation that this decision is not due to food safety concerns and there is unlikely to be any risk to public health from consuming any of these three products".
A major product recall in now underway in the United Kingdom off the back of the British Food Standards Agency's announcement about the levels of contamination there.
Criminal investigationProsecutors in Europe have launched a criminal investigation after millions of eggs were either withdrawn from sale or blocked in Europe following chemical contamination.
"This is just the latest of a number of food safety issues connected to eggs produced outside of the United Kingdom in recent years". It said: "The government has already taken action to prevent any risk to United Kingdom consumers by adding fipronil to its robust surveillance programme in United Kingdom farms".
The majority of the eggs have originated from the Netherlands, but also from Belgium and Germany.