Customers shop at an Aldi Stores location in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Customers shop at an Aldi Stores location in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter after the United States and sells around 5 billion eggs a year to Germany.

The detergent was also supplied to farms in the northern German state of Lower Saxony, from where eggs were distributed across the country, Lower Saxony’s agriculture ministry said.

Dutch food safety watchdog NVWA said this week only a limited type of egg, recognizable by specific serial numbers, posed a risk.

Nonetheless, around 180 poultry companies in the Netherlands have been temporarily closed, and some firms have culled their flock.

A number of supermarket chains including Germany’s REWE and Penny have taken Dutch eggs off their shelves. Aldi is the first major retailer to stop the sale of eggs altogether, regardless of origin.

“This is merely a precaution, there is no reason to assume there are any health risks,” Aldi North and Aldi South, the two operators of Aldi stores, said in a joint statement on Friday.

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