The Food Standards Agency said the number of contaminated eggs estimated to have reached the UK was far higher than the 21,000 first supposed, and that egg salads from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda, sandwiches from Morrisons, and sandwich fillers from Waitrose had been withdrawn.
The FSA added that it still believed from its investigations into the fipronil contamination incident in Europe that it was very unlikely that the eggs posed a risk to public health.
Some of the products will have had a short shelf life and will already have been consumed, but some were still within the expiry date and were being withdrawn by the businesses involved.
The FSA said in a statement: “The decision to withdraw these products is not due to food safety concerns, but is based on the fact that fipronil is not authorised for use in food producing animals. The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are committed to ensuring that food is safe, and that UK consumers have food they can trust.
“We are reminding food businesses of their legal responsibilities which include informing the FSA or FSS and relevant local authorities immediately if they have any reason to believe that a food which they have imported, produced, processed or distributed does not comply with food safety requirements.”
Affected retailers have been quick to point out that all of their raw eggs in shells are sourced from Britain and unaffected by the contamination scare. However, a senior representative for the British egg industry said that UK supermarkets were “operating to double standards” by using cheaper, foreign-sourced eggs for processed products.