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Hong Kong enhances checks on eggs from Europe

13 August 2017
Hong Kong enhances checks on eggs from Europe

The owner said his Spanish eggs had already been checked for chemicals, but that the USA and Hong Kong offerings may be "safer". Eggs, coming mainly from the Netherlands, have been found to contain the substance which is used to kill lice and ticks on animals, and banned by the European Union for use in the food industry. A US egg producer has recalled more than 200 million chicken eggs apparently contaminated with salmonella bacteria after hundreds of people have become sick, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Brussels said the 15 affected EU countries were Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark, along with non-EU Switzerland.

But the World Health Organization said that, when digested in large quantities, the chemical could cause harm to the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

"As far as the retail level is concerned, they have also retracted the problematic eggs, as well as increased the surveillance on eggs, especially (those) coming from European countries", Chan said.

The Commission is to hold a meeting with ministers and regulators in September to discuss the issue and its food safety chief has requested countries to stop "blaming and shaming" each other.

Millions of eggs and egg-based products have been pulled from European supermarkets since August 1 and there are growing questions about who knew what, and when.

Police arrested two people on Thursday in raids on companies in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Egg imports are stringently controlled and only those with recognized health certificates can be imported to Hong Kong, she added.

Local supermarket chain ParknShop said it was "very concerned" and pledged to "closely communicate" with the centre and "follow its instruction".

"There must be no compromises when it comes to food safety", Ms Reinhard said.