Food Law News - EU - 2011

FSA News Item, 6 January 2011

CONTAMINANTS - Update on dioxin contamination of pig and poultry feed in Germany

The Food Standards Agency has received further information in relation to the ongoing investigation into the dioxin contamination of pig and poultry feed in Germany.

The Agency has been informed that following the distribution of affected eggs to the Netherlands, these eggs were mixed with other non-contaminated eggs to make pasteurised liquid egg. This pasteurised liquid egg has been distributed to the UK.

The mixing of the eggs will have diluted the levels of dioxins and they are not thought to be a risk to health.

The FSA is currently liaising with the industry and will provide further updates as information becomes available.

For more information read yesterday's news story at the link below.

The science behind the story

Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are chemicals that get into our food from the environment. They have no immediate effect on our health but can cause problems if they are absorbed into our bodies at high levels for long periods.

Foods high in animal fat, such as milk, meat, fish and eggs (and foods produced with them) are the main source of dioxins and PCBs although all foods contains at least low levels of these chemicals. The levels of dioxins and PCBs in any one individual's diet will vary depending on the amounts and types of foods they eat.

The risk to health comes from eating food with high levels of dioxins and PCBs over a long period. They have been shown to cause a wide range of effects in certain animals, including cancer and damage to the immune and reproductive systems, although it appears that people may be less sensitive.

For the previous news item on this story, see:

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