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New Certified Reference Material for fipronil in egg

19 May 2020

The JRC released ERM®-BB125, a Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) certified for the concentration of fipronil in eggs.

Food control laboratories have now access to a Certified Reference Material (CRM) for analysis of fipronil in egg. The JRC produced this material to help laboratories ensure the quality of their analytical results when monitoring fipronil in eggs.

In 2017, millions of eggs have been recalled from sale after notifications in the Rapid alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that the insecticide fipronil was detected in eggs. Several hundred farmers, food producers and supermarkets withdrew millions of eggs and egg products from the shelves around Europe. The crisis affected most of the EU countries and 19 non-EU countries, which have also reported cases posing a risk for the public health.

Fipronil is a popular insecticide, often used to de-flea household pets such as dogs and cats. It is also effective at treating red lice, commonly found in poultry. Fipronil is not authorised for use around or on food-producing animals as it has potential toxicity to humans. Therefore, fipronil must be monitored in the food chain. Fipronil metabolises into fipronil sulfone that shows similar toxicity. Therefore, the residue definition for enforcement sums up fipronil and fipronil sulfone. The European Commission had set a maximum residue limit (MRL) for the sum of fipronil and fipronil sulfone in eggs and poultry meat of 0.005 mg/kg in Commission Regulation (EC) 396/2005 and (EU) 1127/2014.

Food authorities in the Member States of the European Union (EU) and food industry have implemented significant monitoring of eggs for residues of fipronil. To ensure that the monitoring produces reliable results, leading ultimately to safe food for the citizens, the JRC produced a CRM for determination of fipronil and fipronil sulfone in egg. The material is prepared from contaminated eggs embargoed by food authorities. The CRM will be essential tool for validation of analytical methods for control laboratories and will contribute to achieve reliable analytical results. Read more in online catalogue.

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