Police said that they had early Monday confiscated some 30,000 eggs that were being stored in “unhealthy conditions” in a house in the village of Shfar’am in northern Israel. The eggs were stored in a closed room that was not air-conditioned, where the temperature reached into the 90s Fahrenheit on Israel’s hottest days in August.
That’s a recipe for the development of all sorts of bacteria, including salmonella, which has been a major problem in the Israeli food supply chain in recent weeks. The homeowner was detained and police are determining whether or not to charge him. The eggs were picked up by Health Ministry workers and destroyed.
Generally, eggs of this type that are confiscated originate in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron, and police are investigating if that is where these eggs came from. Often, shipments of such eggs are confiscated as they are transported through IDF checkpoints, but the fact that these eggs had passed through and were already in Israel proper – which means they could have been sold to consumers, caterers and food manufacturers – made the situation especially dangerous, police said.
While importing such eggs into Israel is illegal, many Israelis do take advantage of the substantially lower prices of eggs in PA villages to save as much as 40 percent over the cost of eggs in Israeli supermarkets. Aware of the problem, the government is seeking to allow the importation of eggs from abroad to help lower the prices for consumers.
Like with many of the other products that have seen their duties slashed, eggs are largely marketed by one company – Tnuva – and as a result, the government believes, egg prices in Israel are significantly higher than they are abroad.