Dioxin contaminated eggs produced in the Netherlands have been exported to Belgium and Luxembourg, the Dutch food safety authority has told FoodProductionDaily.com.
The nVWA said the eggs from one organic farm in the country had been sent to an egg packing station in Belgium and from there to one retail chain in the country and another in Luxembourg.
Officials also issued an alert that the tainted eggs had been used in the manufacture of egg products, and told companies not to use them until a full analysis had been completed.
Lieve Busschots, spokeswoman for the Belgian food safety agency, FAVV, said that the affected products had been withdrawn from sale and not reached consumers.
The cause of the contamination is so far a mystery. An investigation had been launched but the body said it could not predict when it would be completed – although it added: “The problem seems to be restricted to only this egg producing farm.”
Dutch authorities said they were also unable to confirm the volume of eggs involved.
“We can't provide any information on the quantity of contaminated eggs, they were not counted by us and any estimation would therefore be useless,” Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority press spokesman Roel Vincken told FoodProductionDaily.com today.
Authorities in the Netherlands last week notified the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the incident that eggs containing dioxins at levels reaching 2.07 pg WHO TEQ/g and dioxin-like polychlorobifenyls at 12.31 pg WHO TEQ/g had been detected.
A spokesperson from the nVWA said the single organic facility had sent all their produce to a Flemish egg packing station
“From the egg packing station these eggs have been distributed to one retail chain in Belgium and Luxemburg and to one egg production plant in Belgium,” said the nVWA.
Tainted eggs had been withdrawn from the market and companies that had received egg products produced with the concerned eggs were notified not to use them until tests confirmed “these egg products do not contain a too high level of dioxins”, said the Dutch body.
In January 2011, Germany reported that millions of eggs and meat containing dioxins had been exported – triggering a Europe-wide food safety incident. The cause of the problem was traced back to feed contaminated with industrial fats and led to an overhaul of rules governing the processing of fats meant for human and animal consumption.