Millions of eggs have been pulled from grocery store shelves in Germany and the Netherlands this week after they were found to be tainted with a poisonous insecticide.
According to The Local, the eggs came from farms in the Netherlands, and they were tainted with an insecticide called fipronil. The insecticide had reportedly been applied at the farms to take care of a lice problem that was affecting the chickens, but the insecticide accidentally got into the eggs as well.
More than 10 million tainted eggs are estimated to have gotten into Germany, and they reportedly have shown up in at least 12 of Germany’s 16 states. Aldi stores in Germany stopped selling eggs entirely after the news came out, and other stores disposed of any eggs that came from the Netherlands.
The amount of insecticide in the eggs is not likely to be harmful to an adult, but it could be dangerous for children. Agricultural officials say a 143-pound adult could eat seven tainted eggs in 24 hours without negative consequences. A child under 35 pounds, however, should not eat more than 1.7 contaminated eggs in a 24 hour period.
Aldi stores in Switzerland also pulled all their Dutch eggs from shelves this weekend after it looked like tainted eggs may have gotten into that country as well. Aldi representatives in the U.K. said all the eggs in U.K. Aldi stores came from the U.K., so there was no danger of contamination.
Fipronil is not allowed to be used on livestock in Europe specifically because of the risk of food contamination. A criminal investigation is underway in the Netherlands and Belgium to figure out how exactly the contamination happened.