More than 1 Million Eggs Pulled from 15 Countries

Farms in the Netherlands and Belgium have been closed for selling eggs contaminated with prohibited toxic substance fipronil.


More than 1 million eggs produced in the Netherlands and Belgium have been recalled in 13 European Union countries, Hong Kong, and Switzerland. The recall was issued after authorities found egg samples to contain fipronil—a prohibited substance used to treat lice on chicken factory farms. If ingested, fipronil can have side effects including kidney, liver, and thyroid damage. More than 100 egg farms have been closed in areas suspected of producing the tainted eggs, and an investigation is ongoing to determine the culprit(s) of the outbreak. Supermarkets across Europe—including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and Asda—have removed items made with eggs, including sandwiches and salads, from store shelves. Stateside, the 2015 bird flu epidemic had a positive silver-lining. Vegan eggless alternatives—such as Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo—absorbed $74 million in profits from egg giant Cal-Maine Foods, which has not recovered demand for its products since.

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