Monday, April 11, 2011

Fake egg myth cracked

The 'fake' eggs are actually Grade E and F eggs normally used as base material for cakes, pastries and by biscuit manufacturers.

PUTRAJAYA - The alleged fake eggs found in the Pulau Tikus wet market in Penang last week were merely deformed and "out of shape" and were not meant for sale, according to the Veterinary Services Department.

Director-general Datuk Dr Abd Aziz Jamaluddin said the Grade E and F eggs, usually sold for below 28 sen (S$0.10) each, were normally used as base material for cakes, pastries and by biscuit manufacturers.

He said the eggs usually sold to consumers were Grades AA, A, B, C and D.

Dr Abd Aziz also discounted the possibility of fake eggs being sold locally, saying that it was far more costly to produce convincing fakes compared with natural ones.

"Give me one sample of an egg that is fake and it will make my day. Maybe there are fakes in the market but we have no samples," he told a press conference here yesterday.

Offering an undisclosed monetary reward for anyone who could present a fake egg to the department, Dr Abd Aziz said department enforcement officers nationwide had been told to collect chicken eggs for testing.

"We want to study the samples for safety and to close the subject on fake eggs once and for all," he added.

Dr Abd Aziz announced that the fake egg scare had prompted the department to develop a blanket accreditation standard for eggs.

It may soon be mandatory for egg farms to stamp the grade, the farm code and a best-by date on chicken eggs as a quality standard measure to ensure the safety of eggs for public consumption.

Dr Abd Aziz said the department was cooperating with the Federation of Livestock Farmers Associations of Malaysia, which had 17 associations under it, to develop an accreditation standard for quality.

He added that the price of eggs, which is a controlled item, would not rise as a result of the exercise.
Dr Aziz also reminded that it was illegal to import eggs under the Animals Act 1953 without an import licence.

Fomca, in an immediate response, welcomed the proposed mandatory quality standard measure for chicken eggs.

Its secretary-general Muhd Sha'ani Abdullah said the proposal was in line with the current 3P system for vegetables, where producers were required to grade, package and label their greens.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said a DNA analysis of four chicken egg samples from Penang by the Chemistry Department found that the eggs were genuine.

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