Nearly 250,000 insecticide-contaminated eggs have been sold in France since April, but the risk for consumers is “very low,” French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said Friday.
A first batch of 196,000 eggs, imported from Belgium, was distributed between April 16 and May 2, and was followed by a second batch of 48,000 Dutch eggs sold by the discount retailer Leader Price between July 19 and 28, Travert told RMC radio.
“The risk for human health is very low, given the levels of fipronil detected in the contaminated eggs, but also given French habits of food consumption,” Travert said.
Fipronil is a chemical used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from farm livestock but is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry.
At least 11 countries in Europe have found eggs contaminated with fipronil since the scare emerged on August 1.
Millions of eggs and egg-based products have been destroyed or pulled from supermarket shelves.
The episode has also unleashed finger-pointing among European countries over who is to blame and whether there was a cover up.