Rome: Samples from a fresh egg pasta shop in eastern Italy have tested positive for the pesticide Fipronil, the Veterinary Epidemiology Centre for the Marche and Umbria regions said on Friday.
The tainted samples came from a fresh pasta shop in Civitanova Marche in Marche’s province of Macerata but contamination levels(0.033 mg/kg) was well below that considered acutely toxic (0.72/mg), the Marche region said in a statement.
The Fipronil tainted eggs came from a packaging centre attached to a poultry farm in Castelfidardo in the province of Ancona, where the first contaminated samples were reported earlier this week, the region said.
The Castefidardo packaging centre has already stopped selling its eggs and has withdrawn all batches from sale, according to the Marche region.
“A local ordinance has banned the sale of the eggs,” the region stated. “Checks are ongoing to trace and test products that could have been contaminated by Fipronil.”
On Wednesday, Italian police said they seized 91,000 eggs and 12,000 hens after tests were carried out on a poultry farm in Ancona and one in the Lazio city of Viterbo amid the widening Fipronil scandal.
On Tuesday two batches of Fipronil-tainted eggs were found in Campania and in some imported frozen omlettes in Lombardy.
A day earlier, the Italian health ministry said that two out of 114 samples of eggs and egg products had tested positive for Fipronil – the first cases reported in Italy.
Among 124 samples tested by veterinary epidemiology centres, eight had traces of Fipronil including five samples from egg packaging centres and three from egg products, the health ministry said, Italy’s health ministry said on Thursday in its latest update.
Italian regional officials and police had taken 428 samples from chickens, eggs and egg products including 60 unspecified items imported from countries already affected by the scandal, the health ministry said.
Millions of eggs and items containing eggs have been withdrawn from sale in several European Union countries and poultry farms in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France have been shut down due to Fipronil use.
The UK, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Denmark, Switzerland and Hong Kong are known to have received contaminated eggs.
Fipronil can damage people’s kidneys, liver and thyroid glands if eaten in large quantities and is banned for use on animals destined for the food industry.