The Israeli egg recall is apparently not related to the withdrawal of millions of European eggs earlier in the summer because of contamination from the use of the toxic insecticide Fipronil and a cleaning agent and sanitizer known as “Dega 16.” Producers in Holland and Belgium were using the Fipronil mix to clean hen houses.
Israel’s health and agriculture ministers issued their public warning urging consumers not to consume any of the 11 million eggs because of contamination with Salmonella enteritidis. The two government ministers said the eggs sold by Yesh Maof and are marked with stamps for consumption up to and including Oct. 20.
The Israeli public should not bother returning eggs to retailers, according to the warning. Instead, they should immediately destroy them and their cartons to prevent secondary infections. Officials do not want to risk the return of egg cartons that might spread the Salmonella.
Routine inspections by Israel’s Agriculture Ministry revealed the Salmonella enteritidis contamination. One Moshav Goren hen house was the source of the contamination, but two others in the Western Galilee area are also suspected of being contaminated.
Israel banned egg sales from the area and announced plans to destroy the chickens as a way of eradicating the pathogen. It is also inspecting all other egg farms. After completing 60 percent of the inspections, it the ministry reported it found Salmonella at about 3 percent of the farms.
Salmonella enteritidis is not as prevalent in Israel as it is in Europe and the United States. When Israel destroys animals to control diseases, it reimburses farmers so they can rebuild their flocks or herds.
In Europe, Fipronil had led to the recall of more than 20 million eggs from as far away as Hong Kong and Taipei. At least one cleaning company used the insecticide to combat red mite infestations.
European food safety agencies also recalled at least 39 products made with eggs because of the concern over Fipronil.
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