CFS ceases hold and test arrangements for poultry eggs from European Union at import level


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (December 1) said that the hold and test arrangements for poultry eggs from five European Union (EU) countries at import level have ceased with immediate effect. The CFS will continue to conduct testing of poultry eggs imported from the EU at the import, wholesale and retail levels on a risk-based principle.
      
     The CFS has been maintaining close liaison with the EU on the incident in which poultry eggs from EU countries were detected with excessive fipronil, a pesticide, earlier. The Centre has also reviewed from time to time the testing arrangements with regard to the latest developments, and informed the trade and the public of the related information.

According to the latest information provided by the EU, all EU countries have carried out control measures, including proper management of farms found with illegal use of chemical substances in their poultry eggs and poultry meat, and enhanced monitoring of the market, with a view to ensuring that EU poultry eggs and egg products exported to Hong Kong are not contaminated with fipronil, and in compliance with the local legal limit of fipronil as well as other legal standards and regulatory requirements. In view of the above information, the CFS, after prudent consideration, has decided to cease the hold and test arrangements for poultry eggs from EU countries at import level with immediate effect.
      
     A spokesman for the CFS said, "Subsequent to the incident in which fipronil was detected in poultry eggs, the CFS has held the poultry eggs imported from the Netherlands and Belgium for testing at import level as a precautionary measure since early August. The arrangements were later extended to cover poultry eggs from all EU countries.

With the development of the incident, the scope of the hold and test arrangements was narrowed to cover poultry eggs from five EU countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Italy) on September 28. According to the latest information we have obtained, the EU has already implemented a co-ordinated EU-wide monitoring plan on the presence of illegally used chemical substances in eggs and poultry meat, and EU countries have also taken effective measures to monitor farms and markets within their territories to ensure that only poultry eggs and egg products meeting the local legal requirements would be exported to Hong Kong. Since the incident, the CFS has stepped up surveillance on the local market.

Other than the unsatisfactory samples which were announced earlier, the CFS has collected 226 samples of poultry eggs and egg products imported from EU countries for chemical testing (including testing for fipronil) and all test results were satisfactory. The CFS has taken appropriate follow-up action regarding the unsatisfactory samples."
      
     The CFS will carry on testing poultry eggs from EU countries at import, wholesale and retail levels on a risk-based principle, and maintain liaison with the EU and the trade so as to continue safeguarding food safety and public health.



Published on: 2017-12-01

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