Scientists at Dutch food safety agency the NVWA are looking for traces of fipronil at several farms in the country producing both eggs and chicken meat. The insecticide is banned for use in meat production, but is a common veterinary substance used to kill lice in poultry.
Checks at a selected number of farms follow the recall of millions of eggs in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, after several batches tested positive for high levels of fipronil.
Officials do not expect the meat samples to test positive for fipronil, though.
Tests to allow meat production resumption
“There is no indication that chicken meat may be affected by the use of fipronil,” Lex Benden, spokesman at NVWA, told this site. He said the tests, which began on Tuesday 8 August and will take several days, are purely precautionary.
Farms that produce both eggs and chickens have been temporarily suspended from trading amid the check for fipronil. NVWA hopes the tests of chicken meat from the selected farms will green-light meat production to resume, even though egg production will still be halted at the respective farms.
Benden said NVWA was confident no traces of the substance would be found, as the stables used to house meat-producing chickens were regularly disinfected and there was not enough time between cleans for a lice problem to develop.
The European Food Safety Authority perspective:
“The use of fipronil on food-producing animals is banned within the EU. Therefore, the current situation in eggs relates to illegal use and, as such, is a risk management issue, being investigated by national authorities.”