EFSA finds fipronil residues exceeding legal limits

Thu, 10 May 2018

EFSA has published its analysis of food data collected following the widespread detection of fipronil residues in eggs last summer

Member States submitted to EFSA the results of more than 5,000 samples of eggs and chicken collected between 1 September and 30 November 2017.

The samples were analysed for fipronil and other active substances specified by the European Commission. The analysis showed that 742 of the samples contained residues in quantities exceeding legal limits, almost all related to fipronil.

The majority of exceedances were found in suspect samples - those derived from products or producers where illegal use was known or assumed.

Products with exceedances of legal limits originated from eight Member States - the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Poland, Hungary, France, Slovenia, and Greece.

The food products affected were mainly unprocessed chicken eggs and fat of laying hens. Some exceedances were reported for muscle of laying hens and egg powder.

The report has been shared with risk managers at EU and Member State level.

Background

The detection of fipronil residues in eggs by Belgian authorities in July 2017 led to millions of eggs being withdrawn from the market in the European Union. The contamination was caused by illegal use of non-approved veterinary medicinal products in poultry farms.

See the scientific report here.

As reported by the EFSA