Eggs contaminated with insecticide have been distributed in the UK, says Food Standards Agency

Eggs contaminated with insecticide have been distributed in the UK, officials have said.

A ‘very small number of eggs’ from farms in Europe at the centre of a contamination scare involving the pesticide Fipronil have been distributed in the UK, the Food Standards Agency said.

The agency said the risk to public health is ‘very low’.

Its announcement follows a warning from the European Union to the British food authorities that some eggs contaminated with the insecticide may have entered the UK.

Millions of eggs have already been destroyed (Picture: Rex)

The EU has also notified food safety groups in France, Switzerland and Sweden.

Aldi and Lidl stores in Germany have already taken millions of eggs off shelves amid fears they are tainted with traces of the pesticide Fipronil.

Supermarket giant Aldi said it was a ‘purely precautionary’ measure and added that eggs sold in its UK stores were produced in Britain.

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The scare started in the Netherlands and Belgium and it is thought that Dutch disinfectant is at fault.

Millions of eggs have already been recalled from shops and distribution centres in Germany and the Netherlands, and banned from sale in Belgium, after some were found to have high levels of Fipronil.

The toxic insecticide is banned from use in food production for human consumption.

A Dutch farming group said millions of hens may need to be culled in the Netherlands after traces of the insecticide were found in eggs.

European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said the aim is ‘to share the information so that everybody knows that it’s now also up to the Swedish, Swiss, French and to the UK national authorities to check’.

The insecticide Fipronil has been found in eggs in Europe (Picture: Rex)

The EU said it has warned the four nations as a precautionary measure.

An investigation is underway in the Netherlands and Belgium to establish how the insecticide came into contact with poultry.

At the weekend, Belgian authorities admitted they began investigating pesticide contamination in eggs in early June – several weeks before the public was made aware of the food safety scare.

Supermarkets pulled millions of eggs from shelves after pesticide Fipronil was found in Dutch and Belgian poultry farms.

Kathy Brison, of the Belgian food safety agency, said on Sunday that a Belgian farm alerted authorities to a possible contamination in June, and they began investigating and alerted Belgian prosecutors.

She said Belgian authorities thought it was an isolated incident and did not realise the scale of the problem until late July.

(Main picture: PA)