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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has urged consumers to come forward with information relating to the supposed spread of "fake" eggs. 

This follows a recent warning issued to consumers be on the lookout for "fake" eggs reportedly being sold at local shops.  

Julius Moloi shared a video on Facebook, detailing how eggs recently purchased at a local spaza shop left him sick for two days. 

In the video, Moloi explained that he purchased the carton of eggs last week Thursday from the local shop. 

"I fried four of the six eggs and after doing so, noticed something suspicious about these eggs," he said. 

"I then decided to get to the bottom of this and so went to purchase another carton, from the same store to test my theory."

The "fake eggs" at the top of this picture are significantly lighter in colour than the real thing below it. Picture: Julius Moloi
After cracking the eggs open, Moloi shows how discoloured the eggs appeared to be. He then compared them to eggs from a branded company, showing the difference in the colour of the yolk. 

Speaking on the issue, Moloi added that the supposedly "fake" eggs were also tasteless. 

"This is what prompted me to investigate this, because of the fact that the eggs made me sick for two days," he said. 

Castro Ngobese, spokesperson for the Agriculture and Rural Development MEC, in response, said the department was not aware of any reports relating to the proliferation of "fake" eggs. 

"The department is not aware of these reports and would appreciate further information relating to the likely sources of these 'fake' eggs so that further investigations can be made.

"It would [however] appear that the issue being referred to is a product quality matter which relates to the Animal Products Standards Act (Apsa) which regulates the quality of eggs and egg products distributed for sale to the public. In our country the Apsa is the remit of the Department of Health."

While Ngobese maintained that further investigations and tests would be necessary to determine if there is any truth to these reports, he explained some factors influencing the colouring of eggs. 

This in response to suggestions that the colouring of the eggs Moloi purchased was affected by the kind of food the birds were fed. 

"The colour of both the egg yolk and the shell of the egg can be influenced by the composition of the feed consumed by the birds. The level of beta carotenes in the feed influence this colouration," Ngobese said.

"An infection with New Castle Disease (NCD) or Infectious Bronchitis (IB) viruses (both diseases of poultry), does in some cases result in shell-less eggs (eggs without shells or with very fragile shells).  There are sporadic outbreaks of NCD from time to time and IB has also been detected from time to time."

Ngobese once again urged consumers to contact the department should they come across "adulterated animal or poultry products" so they are able to "conduct stringent quality assurance tests to the “fake” eggs so that we could inform our consumers appropriately on the ‘truth’ relating to the quality characteristics of these eggs".