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Contaminated eggs delivered to French foodprocessing companies

Eggs being analysed in Germany on 4 August Guido Kirchner/dpa/AFP

Dutch contaminated eggs were delivered to two French food-processing plants in July, France's agriculture ministry has revealed. But no cases of contamination of foodstuffs have been detected so far.

Two foodprocessing plants in western France received 13 lots of contaminated eggs from the Netherlands between 11-26 July, the ministry announced in a statement on Monday.

Investigations are underway to trace the products and analyse them.

The plants sell whole eggs, whites or yolks to food professionals.

An egg farm in northern France has also stopped selling its products after notifying the authorities on 28 July that it had used the treatment that is believed to be at the origin of the contamination.

After the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, Britain and France now believe they have received eggs that may have been contaminated by the treatment, which is produced by two companies, one Dutch, the other Belgian.

It is believed to contain fipronil, a chemical product that is toxic in large quantities and is permitted for pets but banned for livestock raised for human consumption.

A Romanian company is also being investigated.

Over 300,000 chickens have already been put down in the Netherlands and several million may eventually be killed across Europe.