A shipment of eggs suspected of being contaminated with the carcinogen dioxin in Germany has made it as far as Britain, the European Union said Thursday, dpa reported
The dioxin scandal broke at the start of this week after it was revealed that an animal feed manufacturer had accidentally used contaminated fats. The revelation forced more than 1,000 farms in Germany to cease output and prompted a cull of 8,000 hens.
Initial reports said the contamination was limited to Germany, but officials then warned that two shipments of eggs from farms known to have used the contaminated feed had been exported.
"There were two shipments sent to the Netherlands ... In the first shipment, the eggs were processed into other products which were then shipped on to Britain," European Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent said.
The second shipment was broken into three consignments in the Netherlands. One has been frozen and will now be tested, Vincent said, stressing that it was not clear whether the eggs in question carried prohibited levels of dioxin.
"There is a potential for contamination, but it has not yet been found," he said.
The other two thirds have already passed their use-by date, Vincent said. He could not say whether they had been tracked down or whether it would be possible to do so in the coming days.
EU Health Commissioner John Dalli is to discuss the issue with German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner by telephone later Thursday.
The European Commission is the EU's executive and acts as its clearing-house in the event of cross-border health scares