All European Union eggs to be inspected, Hong Kong food watchdog announces amid safety scare

Effective immediately, decision is latest precaution by city after discovery of insecticide-tainted products from Dutch farms last week

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 7:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 7:01am

All poultry eggs in Hong Kong imported from European Union countries are to be held for inspection, the city’s food watchdog announced on Monday evening.

Effective immediately, the decision by the Centre for Food Safety is the latest precaution taken locally since eggs from Dutch farms were found earlier this month to contain unsafe levels of an insecticide. The scandal spread as tainted eggs were found in 15 EU states and Switzerland as well as Hong Kong.

A centre spokesman said it had been closely monitoring the matter. Last week, eggs imported to the city from the Netherlands were found to exceed the local legal limit for Fipronil, a highly toxic pest control chemical banned from the production of food.

“The centre will hold poultry eggs from EU countries for testing as soon as they are imported, and they will only be released to the market for sale if test results prove satisfactory,” the spokesman said.

Inspection had already been tightened for poultry eggs imported from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France. The spokesman called the latest move “prudent”.

Other than the unsatisfactory Dutch eggs it identified and announced earlier, the centre has not found any additional bad samples.

All the recalled Dutch eggs in the city were to be sent to landfill for disposal under the supervision of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

Poultry eggs from the EU account for less than two per cent of all poultry eggs imported to the city.