Contaminated products found as far away as Hong Kong: Two company executives appeared in a Dutch court this week in connection with the tainted eggs scandal that has swept across Europe. The men were arrested last Thursday as agents raided eight premises in Belgium and Holland, including the two men’s company, Chickfriend, in the Netherland. The court said in a statement that the two managers of the disinfection company were suspected of using the banned insecticide fipronil at poultry farms in the Netherlands. Contaminated eggs and related products have been found as far afield as Hong Kong and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Initial damages to poultry farmers were estimated to be €150m ($175.6 million), according to Dutch sources, but the figure may in the end be far higher. Read more HERE and HERE.
Tensions over egg scandal increase: A scandal involving eggs contaminated with insecticide spread to 15 European Union countries, Switzerland, and as far away as Hong Kong on as the European Commission called Friday for a special meeting on the growing crisis. Ministers and food safety chiefs from around the European Union are set to meet Sept. 26 in a bid to get countries to stop “blaming and shaming” each other over the scare involving the chemical fipronil. Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves across Europe, and dozens of poultry farms closed since the discovery of fipronil, which can harm human health, was made public on Aug. 1. The issue has sparked a row between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, the three countries at the epicentre of the crisis, about how long they knew about the problem. READ MORE
New England’s food supply could take a major hit: It’s a nightmare scenario for area urban planners. If a major storm like Hurricane Sandy were to hit Greater Boston, New England’s food supply could take a major hit. That’s because the facility responsible for getting produce out to almost eight million people across the region and parts of Canada sits in a flood zone in Chelsea, just less than a mile away from the Mystic River. The New England Produce Center is the third-largest food distribution center in the country. Before dawn, trucks carrying fruits and vegetables start picking up deliveries for grocery stores and other vendors. READ MORE
Not understanding the risk of ‘connected’ devices puts you at great risk: General lack of understanding about the risk of “connected” devices leaves businesses and even families open to great risks, says Jim Ivers, vp of marketing for the software integrity group at Synopsis. He cites a recent Department of Justice document about the risks of children’s toys connected to the Internet, including very detailed steps to reduce the risks of IoT devices, but says he doesn’t have much hope anybody will pay attention. “Most consumers don’t know how to do simple IT hygiene like changing the password of their router (if they even know they have a router), updating the password of the device, or updating the firmware (huh?) of the device,” he says. “The document also prescribes that consumers segment their home networks. By a show of hands, who knows what that means or how to do it?” READ MORE
Largest dead zone ever: The largest dead zone ever recorded in the U.S. has appeared at the mouth of the Mississippi River.According to scientists, it’s primarily caused by fertilizer and sewage that wash off farmland in the river’s watershed and eventually make their way to the sea, where they feed algae blooms and bacteria that suck all the oxygen out of the water. Scientists announced this month the dead zone measures nearly 9,000 square miles – about the size of New Jersey. READ MORE
What you always wanted to know about food fraud: To be successful as a food criminal, one needs to operate beneath the radar. A good food crime is one that endures. Fraudsters do not wish to draw attention to a fraudulent product by poisoning people or adversely altering its organoleptic properties. Introducing an Eww Factor in the course of a food fraud would simply be bad for business. READ MORE
Another car crash, another death: A girl has been killed after a man crashed his car into a pizzeria on the outskirts of Paris. Thirteen other diners were injured, according to the deputy public prosecutor, five of them critically – including a 3-year-old boy who was in intensive care. French police said the driver appeared to have been acting deliberately when he rammed into the terrace of the restaurant in a shopping area at Sept-Sorts, a small suburb east of Paris. At this stage the police are investigating a homocide, not terrorism. READ MORE
Aldi testing online and delivery service: Discount grocer Aldi is teaming up with Instacart to offer on-demand online grocery shopping and delivery service in three U.S. cities starting later this month. The pilot program will launch in Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles and may be expanded to other locations. READ MORE