Germany’s poisoned eggs scare has spread to chickens, with investigators now reporting increased levels of cancer-causing dioxin in meat.
Three chickens – out of 15 samples of chicken, turkey and pork sent to the EU Commission – showed a dioxin concentration twice as high as the legal level, it was admitted on Sunday.
The spokesman said the chicken meat had not been sold and that eating it “would not have been harmful in the short term since the contamination levels were so low”.
The meat scare follows on from last week’s admission that tainted eggs from chickens that ate feed contaminated with dioxins had entered the UK food chain.
Close to 5,000 farms have been shut across Germany and thousands of chickens culled after feed from a chemical company near Hamburg was tainted.
German prosecutors will attempt to determine this week how many infected eggs hit the food chain in Britain from poisoned feed.
As a new survey in Germany says one-in-five consumers are avoiding all eggs, EU food safety chiefs are demanding answers about how many millions have been sold since the problem was first identified in March last year.
The European Commission has said there were no grounds for a ban on exports of German meat or other products.
Germany on Sunday called for tough legal action against those responsible for contaminating food with dioxin.
Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner described the conduct that led to excessive levels of the highly toxic chemical entering animal feed as a “criminal act,” adding: “This is a big blow for our farmers. They have totally innocently been dragged into this situation by the sick machinations of a few people.”
5:35PM GMT 09 Jan 2011
Source: The Telegraph