AFBI science protects reputation of Northern Ireland produced eggs.

Date published: 21 August 2017

Area of Expertise:

AFBI scientists are playing a key role in the United Kingdom’s response to the discovery of Fipronil in eggs in the Netherlands and Belgium, and in doing so are protecting the reputation of Northern Ireland produced eggs.

The latest liquid chromatography mass spectrometry based technology is employed at AFBI

Fipronil is a commonly used insecticide for the control of lice, mites and other parasites on domestic animals. It is not approved for use in animals intended for the human food chain.  

There is no evidence that Fipronil treatment has been used within the UK egg industry. However, the UK Government has moved quickly to add testing for fipronil in eggs to the UK’s residues surveillance programme to reassure the public of the safety of UK eggs.  All initial results have been clear.

AFBI scientists have responsed to the challenge, developing and implementing a test method suitable for the detection of Fipronil in eggs produced in Northern Ireland.  The developed method, based on the latest liquid chromatography mass spectrometry based technology, was deployed within an extremely short timeframe. Testing will be ongoing.

The latest information on fipronil may be found on the Food Standards Agency NI website here

Notes to editors: 

  • AFBI carries out high-quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies, and commercial companies.
  • AFBI's Vision “Advancing the Local and Global Agri-Food Sectors Through Scientific Excellence”.
  • All media enquiries to AFBI Press Office 028 9025 5326.

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