Background

In June 2017, eggs contaminated with the pesticide Fipronil were discovered in Belgium and the Netherlands. A treatment against ticks containing fipronil had been incorrectly used to treat poultry and, if consumed, fipronil can be harmful to humans.

The EU’s executive alarm system, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feeds (RASFF), alerted several European countries that eggs contaminated with Fipronil may have crossed their borders, both eggs and poultry meat meant for human consumption have been affected by this scandal.

Chicks and Eggs

What is Fipronil?

Fipronil is an insecticide used against pests including ants, fleas, lice, ticks, cockroaches and also red mites which are commonly found in poultry. It has been shown to be acutely toxic in animal experiments when ingested orally, absorbed through the skin, or when inhaled, and should therefore not be used on food producing animals.

The maximum allowed fipronil residue levels (the sum of both fipronil and its sulfone metabolite) for chicken eggs or chicken meat is 0.005 mg/kg of body weight.

How to Accurately Test for Fipronil and Fipronil Metabolites

Samples are best prepared using the QuEChERS method followed by testing using GC/MS, GC/MS/MS or LC/MS/MS techniques. We offer a complete range of analytical standards, certified reference materials, solvents, and columns for analysis of your food samples. Additionaly we also develop application methods for determining fipronil and its sulfone metabolite in raw eggs, chicken meat and mayonnaise.

Reference Materials and Standards

Our high quality Pestanal® analytical standards and TraceCERT® certified reference materials can help ensure that measurements lower than the maximum allowed residue level can be detected, and our double accredited manufacturing process to ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 17034 gives you the assurance of accuracy.

EFSA report: results of follow-up fipronil monitoring

Following the detection of fipronil residues in eggs due to the use of non-approved veterinary medicinal products in poultry farms against red mites, an ad-hoc monitoring program was set up in the EU. Member States provided results for over 5000 samples of eggs and chicken muscle/fat, which were analyzed for the presence of fipronil and a number of additional active substances proposed by the European Commission.

The report summarizes the data sampled during the period from 1 September 2017 to 30 November 2017 and reported to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It provides an overview of the results with regards to the frequency of occurrence and compliance with the legal limits. The results are presented by country of origin, type of food product, and by the active substances analyzed. The EFSA also lists 54 pesticides, mostly acaricides, which should also be considered when analyzing egg or egg-containing samples.

To view the recommended substances by EFSA please go to table EFSA recommended pesticide standards for fipronil testing.

To view the report, click on the link under Additional information.

Materials

Fipronil Standards
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Material for Fipronil Testing
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EFSA recommended Pesticide Standards
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