Investigations are continuing into the recall of more than 4 million eggs in Poland that were contaminated with the antibiotic lasalocid.
The eggs, due for sale in the domestic Polish market, were ordered to be removed from sale after Poland’s veterinary service found residues of the antibiotic at a “rate exceeding its maximum allowed value.”
The eggs had already reached shelves of a number of major supermarket chains in Poland, including the French-owned Carrefour, Portuguese-owned Biedronka chain local delicatessen chain Piotr I Pawel. It is possible they reached other retail outlets too.
Consumers have been warned not to eat the eggs but to return them to the outlets where they were purchased.
Pawel Niemczuk, head of the Polish veterinary service, said the drug was added “erroneously” to the feed given to laying hens on a farm near Poznan in the east of the country.
Lasalocid can be used legally in feed for broilers to treat coccidiosis but it is believed it was mistakenly given to the laying hens.
It follows the decision by German authorities to pull around 73,000 Dutch eggs from supermarket shelves because of contamination from fipronil, the insecticide that sparked a huge pan-European food scare last autumn.
It is not the first time Polish eggs have hit the headlines. Two years ago Poland was at the centre of a multi-country outbreak of salmonella enteritidis linked to an egg packing centre in the country.
That outbreak led to more than 500 confirmed or probable cases in 14 countries and there was a resurgence of salmonella cases in Poland last year.