Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 341–348 | Cite as

Standard safety policy: a retrospect of the Korean chicken egg crisis in 2017

  • Sujung Im
  • Dugkeun ParkEmail author
Research Article


On August 14, 2017, a report released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs confirmed the presence of pesticides in chicken eggs in South Korea. The literature has identified various causes for the crisis, such as the lack of criteria for permissible amounts of residual pesticides, and dichotomized management and supervision systems. This study investigated current laws and enactments relevant to South Korea’s 2017 crisis of pesticide-contaminated eggs, seeking to extract applicable safety standards. Of the 12 laws directly related to eggs, eight contained a combined total of 19 safety standards. The main problems of these standards include the lack of criteria to regulate permissible amounts of residual pesticides, the lack of standardized countermeasures against residual chemicals, conflicting standards between higher-ranking and lower-ranking legal norms, and confusing misuse of terminology. It is suggested that these problems in egg-related safety standards can be addressed by South Korea adopting the internationally recognized Codex Alimentarius standard, with strengthened application of stricter administrative measures exceeding the Maximum Residue Levels in the field, using unified terminology. Thus, the present study aims to investigate the 2017 crisis to extract safety standards from the law and analyze related problems. The study also makes suggestions to improve applicable safety standards in the hope of preventing the recurrence of similar crises.


Pesticide-contaminated eggs Safety standards Crisis Food safety Poultry eggs 



This study was not funded by any external sources.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

As the study reported in this article did not involve human participants or animals, formal consent was not required.


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Copyright information

© Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Disaster Management InstituteUlsanRepublic of Korea

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