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Dioxins found in eggs

07 January 2011

RSSL has responded quickly to assist food manufacturers affected by a new dioxin scare. Reports emerging from the food industry suggest some whole egg contaminated with dioxin may have entered the UK via a processing plant in The Netherlands

his revelation follows on from an announcement yesterday that pig and poultry feed in Germany has been found to contain dioxins above the European legal limits. Initial reports suggested that none of the potentially contaminated animal feed, or food from the animals that may have eaten the feed, had entered the UK. But this situation seems to have changed.

Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have no immediate effect on human health but have the potential to cause damage to the immune and reproductive systems if they are absorbed into our bodies at high levels for long periods. Hence there are strict limits on levels permitted to enter the human food chain.

Working with a partner laboratory, RSSL can provide a dioxin testing service using UKAS accredited methods involving state of the art GC/MS technology. Sample analysis is undertaken using reference method US EPA Method 1613. As required by the international regulatory bodies (WHO, US EPA, EC etc.) RSSL's service involves the identification and quantification of the most toxic dioxins and furans and calculation of the I-TEQ value in order that a comparison with prescribed limits and typical background levels can be made.

The method is reliable for detecting dioxins in a range of matrices at levels down to one part per trillion. For manufacturers concerned about supplies brought in from the Netherlands or Germany, these tests will provide reassurance that products are unaffected, or vital data to prevent release of contaminated product. RSSL promises rapid turnaround options for samples tested if required.

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