In a precautionary move German authorities temporarily banned more than 1,000 farms in several states from production, due to the threat of toxic dioxin in animal feed.
Authorities investigate egg producers in North-Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony to try to determine wether their dioxin levels are higher than usual. According to press reports in North-Rhine-Westphalia authorities had more than 8,000 hens killed, because they might have been already contaminated.
German officials made out that the affected farms purchased contaminated animal feed from a producer in the Netherlands. Authorities believe industrial fats were substituted for vegetable fats at some point in the tainted feed's manufacturing process.
Last week, heightened levels of dioxin were found in eggs and chicken meat in the northwestern state of North Rhine-Westphalia.