More than 70,000 potentially-contaminated eggs have been recalled in Germany amid concerns over the level of residue of the insecticide fipronil.

The state government in the north-western state of Lower Saxony said yesterday (11 June) tests on batches of organic eggs from the Netherlands had found residue levels of 0.014 milligrams, 0.019mg and 0.007mg per kilogram of fipronil. Under EU law, the maximum level allowed is 0.005mg/kg.

The statement from Lower-Saxony government provided no detail about the origin of the eggs bar the fact they were imported from the Netherlands. It said only that the eggs were packed in the town of Vechta, 48 miles from the German city of Bremen.

The eggs were shipped to six German states – Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. Some 98% of the eggs were sold through the retail channel.

In its statement, the Lower Saxony state government said the levels of residue was “far below” the threshold at which there is a risk to human health.

Europe’s egg industry was rocked last year by a major scandal over the use of fipronil. Eggs supplied from the Netherlands were found to contain the insecticide, leading to millions of eggs being recalled across a number of markets.