Drug residue found in Taipei eggs: DOH

TAIPEI - Eight out of 30 randomly tested batches of eggs currently on the market in Taipei were found to contain small amounts of drug residues that could harm humans if overexposed, Taipei City's Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

One of the egg batches was found to contain Trimethoprim, one was found containing Trimethoprim and Florfenicol while another six samples were found containing Florfenicol or Thiamphenicol, the DOH said yesterday.

Trimethoprim, Florfenicol and Thiamphenicol are legal drugs for use on animals. Only very low levels were found in the tested samples, the DOH said. Rules stipulate, however, that no such drugs can be used in eggs, it noted.

Excessive amounts of Trimethoprim can increase one's risk of suffering kidney failure. Florfenicol and Thiamphenicol, if overused, can cause anaemia and red cell aplasia, the DOH said.

The department said the eggs were purchased from supermarket chain Wellcome and Matsusei Supermarket, convenience stores and neighborhood goods stores in Taipei.

The DOH said the batches were shipped from southern Changhua County, southern Yunlin County and northern New Taipei City to Taipei. The DOH will ask for assistance from agricultural authorities to trace the origin of these eggs.

In response to the DOH's findings, Wellcome and Matsusei Supermarket yesterday both announced that they have pulled from shelves all eggs found containing drug residues.