The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is assuring consumers that the supply of eggs in the United States is safe, and that consumers should not expect to come into contact with eggs from the Netherlands that are connected with a scandal in which laying hens were treated with the insecticide Fipronil.
“FSIS has been in continual contact with the Netherlands regarding the Fipronil in shell eggs incident. We will continue to assess and evaluate the situation in order to ensure the safety of processed egg products,” FSIS stated.
Fipronil, which is used to treat some pets for fleas, ticks and lice, is not approved for use in poultry, yet Dutch authorities halted production at about 200 farms as traces of the insecticide were found. Two people have been arrested in connection with the egg scandal.
According to FSIS, the U.S. is not currently receiving egg products from the Netherlands, and no such products have entered the United States since July 21, 2017. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also confirmed that no shell eggs from the Netherlands have been sent to the United States during this fiscal year.
The Netherlands is also not currently approved to export poultry to the U.S., the agency stated. However, other markets have reported receiving shipments of Dutch eggs. The U.K Food Standards Agency estimates that about 700,000 Dutch eggs were imported there. Contaminated eggs have also reportedly reached Hong Kong.
“The protection of U.S. consumers and the food supply is of the utmost importance, and USDA will continue to focus on the safety of eggs from the Netherlands,” stated U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
The American Egg Board (AEB) stated that it has been in close communication with FSIS regarding the matter of eggs from hens exposed to Fipronil.