Two men have been arrested by Dutch investigators on suspicion of illegally using the pesticide Fipronil on chickens at egg farms.
The arrests have been made as part of a series of coordinated raids in the Netherlands and Belgium amid the scandal that prompted a food safety scare across much of Europe. Fipronil is used to control pests such as fleas and mites in dogs and cats, but it not legal for use in poultry.
The Dutch investigation, according to TRT World, is focusing on a Dutch company that allegedly applied the substance, a presumed Belgian supplier and a Dutch trader that worked with the supplier.
At this point, there have been no reports of illnesses related to consumption of eggs from farms where Fipronil was detected. However, prosecutors say there is evidence that public health was threatened by the use of Fipronil in laying hens.
The Fipronil crisis initially involved seven farms, with eggs from those farms being recalled in late July. However, since that time, Dutch authorities have revelaed that the problem was more widespread than initially thought. As of August 1, there were 180 farms determined to have produced eggs where traces of Fipronil were found.
The situation has prompted authorities in the Netherlands to also test chicken meat for traces of Fipronil, as some farms raise chickens for both eggs and chicken meat.
As a precautionary measure, Aldi has suspended the sale of eggs at all of its stores in Germany, which amounts to about 4,000 stores.
Two arrested in European egg contamination saga
Dutch investigators on Thursday detained two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of pesticide at poultry farms that sparked a food safety scare in several European countries.