German grocers Aldi (Süd) GmbH & Co. and ALDI Nord GmbH & Co. oHG said Aug. 4 that they halted the sale of eggs at more than 4,000 stores in Germany, citing possible contamination from an insecticide, Reuters reported.
The companies, both of which operate stores under the Aldi name, said the decision affected eggs that were cultivated in the Netherlands and Belgium and may have been exposed to fipronil, a pesticide frequently used to treat egg-laying chickens for mites that is known to cause nausea, dizziness and damage to internal organs in humans. Criminal investigations into the potential contamination have been opened in both countries, according to the Reuters report.
"This is merely a precaution; there is no reason to assume there are any health risks," the two Aldi operators said in a joint statement cited in the report.
Several smaller grocery chains in Germany also said they were pulling eggs from their stores. Aldi Süd's stores in Switzerland also stopped selling eggs, according to the Reuters report.
Dutch farmers export about 5 billion eggs to Germany each year, the report said.