Toxic German eggs enter food chain in Britain

British shoppers bought cakes and quiches made with eggs at the centre of a health scandal in Germany, food safety officials confirmed last night.

As agriculture officials shut 4,709 chicken and pig farms across Germany in response to the contamination of animal feed with dioxins, Morrisons and Tesco were checking shelves to remove affected products. Most would have been eaten by now, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said.

Dioxins, a group of highly toxic, chemically-related compounds, can cause cancer and damage to immune systems when consumed at high levels for long periods. Although one sample suggested the eggs contained 77 times the legal limit, the FSA said it was still too low to damage health.

Morrisons said it had withdrawn a small number of products as a "precautionary measure to give customers full confidence". Tesco said: "We would like to stress to customers that this is a purely precautionary measure and the FSA has stated there is no food safety risk." Eight of its own-brand cakes are affected including raspberry and chocolate sponges and a children's caterpillar cake with sell-by dates for the first two weeks of January.

The alert began late last month when German officials discovered thousands of tonnes of animal feed contaminated with fat intended for industrial use had been sent to more than 1,000 poultry and pig farms. A 14-tonne load of pasteurised eggs was exported to the UK in December, and bought by two manufacturers, Kensey Foods in Cornwall and Memory Lane Cakes in Cardiff. They mixed the contaminated eggs with other eggs to create liquid egg, which was put into cakes and quiches.

The FSA said: "The majority of products will have been sold and most have passed their 'use by' or 'best before' dates. In light of this information, some supermarkets are choosing to voluntarily remove the small amount of products that are still in date."

German company Harles and Jentzsch supplied the feed containing 3,000 tonnes of fatty acids intended for industrial use. Germany's agriculture ministry said the firm had been aware of the levels of dioxin in its fat since last March but had failed to address the problem. "The fat should never have been sold," said a spokesman.

State prosecutors have launched an investigation amid suspicions that the company deliberately used the low-quality fat to maximise profits, which it denies. Managing director Siegfried Sievers insisted the contamination had was an accident. Germany's Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner said: "The idea that this was all a mistake is simply not credible."

She called for stricter European Union-wide regulations on animal feed to protect consumers. The British Egg Products Association said it was "extremely concerned" about the impact of the contamination on the industry.

Here is a breakdown of the potentially affected products, removed from the shelves in UK supermarkets:

:: Tesco

Tesco Caterpillar Cake - Best Before 10/01/11

Tesco Coconut Sponge 5.5" - Best Before 15/01/11

Tesco Raspberry Sponge 5.5"- Best Before 07/01/11

Tesco Value Raspberry Sponge 5.5" - Best Before 13/01/11, 15/01/11

Tesco Vanilla Party Tray Bake - Best Before 11/01/11

Tesco Christmas Chocolate Tray Bake - Best Before 07/01/11

Tesco Chocolate Sponge Cake - Best Before 10/01/11, 15/01/11

Tesco Victoria Sponge Cake - Best Before 12/01/11, 13/01/11, 15/01/11

:: Morrisons

Morrisons Caterpillar Cake - Best Before 18 JAN

Morrisons Chocolate Tray Bake - Best Before 10 JAN

Morrisons Mini Roll Bites (Cakeshop) - Best Before 10 JAN, 17 JAN, 20 JAN

Morrisons Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake - Best Before 13 JAN, 15 JAN, 18 JAN, 19 JAN, 25 JAN

Morrisons Vanilla Tray Bake - Best Before 11 JAN, 26 JAN

Morrisons Value Raspberry Sponge - Best Before 12 JAN, 17 JAN, 20 JAN

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable