NVWA website publishes codes of fipronil-contaminated eggs from investigated farms

Today, the NVWA website has published all egg codes of companies whose eggs tested positive for fipronil during the past week. The list contains 138 egg codes derived from investigations at a group of 180 businesses, which represent about a fifth of all Dutch poultry farmers. Transport will continue to be halted at companies who have had their egg codes published on the website. The Dutch Food Retail Association (Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel, CBL) has cleared the shelves of all eggs from these businesses.

Only one egg code poses an immediate public health risk – 2-NL-4015502 – and is therefore highlighted on the website of the NVWA. An additional 59 egg codes denote eggs with substantially elevated fipronil concentrations, which render their consumption by children inadvisable. This number has increased from 27 egg codes previously reported. The list of egg codes allows consumers to check whether any of the codes concerned is stamped onto any eggs that they may have stored in the fridge, for example. Consumers can find this egg code on the eggs. There is no reason to advise against the eating of any other eggs by consumers.

Investigation

On Wednesday, 26 July 2017, the NVWA launched a large-scale investigation of 180 Dutch poultry farms, taking samples to test the suspicion that the prohibited substance fipronil had been used at those farms. This suspicion was raised by invoices from a poultry service company in relation to remedies for red poultry mite administered at poultry farms since 1 January 2017. After the Public Prosecution Service had initiated an investigation into this company and supplied the invoices to the NVWA, the latter took immediate action.

Starting Wednesday last week, the transport of eggs, laying hens and manure has been halted at businesses implicated in the investigation. Since then, samples from 19 businesses have tested negative for fipronil contamination of the eggs. While these businesses have been released in the meantime, transport will – until further notice – continue to be halted at the remaining businesses whose eggs codes have now been published on the NVWA website.

Further action

For businesses with one or more fipronil-contaminated sheds as well as one or more sheds proven clean, the release of these clean sheds will be considered as soon as possible. One important precondition is that the farmers concerned are able to ensure the separation of egg flows. The NVWA website will modify its list following the release of any such clean sheds. Poultry farmers subject to the transport ban are responsible themselves for decontaminating their sheds. The growing number of poultry farms which have since notified the NVWA of the probable use of fipronil in their own operations will all be investigated as well.

More information

Journalists who have any questions about this press release can contact the NVWA Press Office at +31 88 22 33 700.