Fipronil-contaminated omelet powder found in Estonia, hadn't hit shelves ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

NVWA warning about possibly contaminated eggs in a Dutch supermarket. Source: (AFP/Scanpix)

According to the Estonian Veterinary and Food Board (VTA), 540 kilograms of omelet powder containing the insecticide finopril has been imported to Estonia, but none of it had yet reached retail.

The VTA has assured that consumption of the product poses no health risk to humans.

German company Eipro-Vermarktung has recalled the pasteurized and flavored omelet powder as raw materials not meeting valid requirements were used in its manufacture. Two batches of altogether 540 kilograms of the product were imported to Estonia on July 25.

Information obtained during a check of the wholesale company suggests that none of the product has reached retail.

Minister: Information exchange must be improved

Commenting on the case, Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm (Center) said that information exchange between countries must be improved in order to avoid such cases.

"We will definitely discuss this topic at the informal meeting of agriculture and fishery ministers on Sept. 5, where EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis will provide an overview of the situation which has arisen," Tamm said, referring to the fact that chicken eggs which have been found to contain the insecticide fipronil were found across the EU, Switzerland and Hong Kong in August.

"It is clear that the topic is very concerning and must be dealt with seriously," said the Estonian minister. "People's health is of utmost importance to us and I believe that the VTA will clarify the extent of food products containing finopril that are on the Estonian market and will recall them from sale."

According to the latest studies, finopril is neither carcinogenic nor mutagenic, but may have a neurotoxic effect on humans. Depending on the dose and duration of contact, it may have various effects on the central nervous system, thyroid gland and liver. In large quantities, finopril will cause nausea, vomiting and headaches. The agent is very toxic for the aquatic environment, including acquatic organisms and fish, as well as for bees and birds. Finopril may also potentially contaminate groundwater.

VTA: Import of contaminated products can't be ruled out within EU

The Estonian food authority had reported in the first half of August that according to their information, contaminated eggs had not reached Estonia, but warned that it was impossible to rule out their arrival in the country entirely due to the European free trade policy. It did note, however, that information regarding contaminated food was shared and received within the EU via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), a dedicated safety alert system.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS, ERR

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