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Weeks after alarm in Europe, tainted eggs found in Malta

Fipronil traces found in eight of 20 samples sent from Malta

Traces of Fipronil, a flea poison, have been found in eggs in Malta and consumers have been urged not to eat more than two eggs a day.

The Health Directorate said today that it had commissioned the testing of eggs found in Malta after eggs tainted with Fipronil were found in several European countries.

The tests were conducted in a laboratory in Germany, which found that eight of 20 samples had traces of Fipronil.

The samples included both imported and locally laid eggs.

The directorate said that while the use of this substance was disallowed, the amounts found in the samples were not up to toxicity levels

Nonetheless, as a precaution, people should not eat more than two eggs per day until further notice.

Action is being taken for the sources where these eggs originated not to continue to sell eggs locally, the directorate said.

Investigators in early August detected Fipronil in slightly higher than acceptable levels on Dutch chicken farms, leading quickly to culls, quarantines and other measures to prevent further production of contaminated eggs. 

In the following days, millions of Dutch chicken eggs and products containing egg were recalled in countries around Europe and as far away as Asia.

On August 8 a spokeswoman for the Health Directorate had told Times of Malta that no contaminated eggs had been imported to Malta. "The Environmental Health Directorate is closely monitoring the situation through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed on a 24/7 basis. Malta has not been tagged in any of the alert," she said.

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