Belgium became the first country last month to officially notify the EU's food safety alert system of the presence of eggs contaminated by the insecticide fipronil, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.
The insecticide, which can harm human health, has since been discovered in eggs in 14 other
European countries since the scandal came to light on August 1 and has even been found as far afield as Hong Kong. It has forced millions of eggs to be removed from supermarket shelves and the closure of more than 150 farms in the Netherlands.
"We were hit full-on by the tainted eggs scare," Rene Bourguignon said as he waited to prepare the omelette.
The local branch of the World Giant Omelette Brotherhood has been organising the festival in Malmedy for more than 20 years.
"We have total confidence in our local products, our suppliers are local and they fulfilled every health guarantee we asked of them since the beginning," Bourguignon said.
"Any doubts were swept away by friendship and warmth."
Made simply with eggs, bacon, oil and chives, and cooked over a wood fire, the omelette has been a fixture of the annual festival since the 1990s when Belgium was hit with a similar scandal -- over chicken and eggs contaminated with dioxin, a known carcinogen.
Traces of fipronil found in the contaminated eggs are at very low levels.
"The media said you needed to eat eight eggs a day" for the insecticide to affect your health, local volunteer Gabiche Chleck said.
"Personally, there's no way I could eat all that."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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