ONGOING PROBLEMS with contaminated Dutch eggs should be a wake-up call for UK processors and retailers to buy British.

As food safety authorities scrambled to trace some 700,000 imported eggs with possible traces of Fipronil – an insecticide which shouldn’t be used around food-producing animals – both the British Free Range Egg Producers Association and one of Scotland’s leading egg producers, Robert Chapman, urged buyers to learn a lesson from the incident.

Mr Chapman, who packs four million eggs a week under the Farmlay label from his West Cockmuir farm at Strichen, Aberdeenshire, told The Scottish Farmer: “Price is obviously a major factor why so many imported eggs come into Britain, but the fact that so many have been found to be contaminated is a major issue. Surely processors and retailers will take this on board and source more eggs from UK producers whose standards are second to none.”

The BFREPA also called on retailers to change their egg sourcing policies. Chief executive Robert Gooch said: “British egg producers follow stringent production standards to ensure that what they produce is perfectly safe and nutritious for consumers to eat.

“Retailers have shown good commitment to British shell eggs but processed egg is often sourced from other countries," he explained. "This incident should be a wake-up call for retailers. Consumers want safe, traceable food and we have a ready-made scheme which delivers that in the form of the British Lion Code.

“Consumers should be reminded that eggs stamped with the British Lion mark are perfectly safe to eat,” Mr Gooch added.

Approximately 180 Dutch farms have been implicated in the Fipronil contamination so far. Many of the Dutch eggs were incorporated in to products such as sandwiches and salads, which have since been withdrawn by the retailers stocking them.