Following recent media reports that Chinese chicken eggs are being sold as “Vietnamese garden eggs” after being bleached with an acid formula, inspectors from Hanoi’s Department of Health seized the eggs being done by family businesses in Dong Anh District.
Inspector Chief Nguyen Viet Cuong said the eggs will be tested for health and safety.
Le Thi Hong Hao, deputy head of the National Institute for Testing Food Safety and Hygiene, said that bleaching substances, whether chloric acid or not, can be absorbed by the egg and affect consumers’ health.
Many bleaching agents are poisonous and can make people sick by causing damage to the liver, kidney and brain.
Advertised as eggs produced by hens that roam free in gardens, the white eggs sell for VN3,700 (US$0.21) each, twice as much as factory-farm eggs which are brown in color.
He advised customers to feel the egg shells before buying because faked garden egg would feel rough.
A village in Hanoi has discovered how to turn low grade Chinese eggs into more expensive Vietnamese ones by soaking them in acid.
The scam was uncovered by reporters from Saigon Tiep Thi who arrived in Dong Ngan Village in the Hanoi suburbs and were shocked by what they saw.
Brown Eggs sourced in China were being quickly turned white after an acid bath. They were so bleached the yolk was visible through shell when held up to the light
One local resident said: “Everyone in the village get involved in bleaching eggs”.
According to Saigon Tiep Thi, these are Chinese eggs which are carried to Dong Ngan village through various channels. Local residents purchase the low grade factory farmed eggs at 1,000 dong per egg. Then, following bleaching, scammers can double their money and sell the eggs as local white eggs for 2,000 dong each.
Saigon Tiep Thi’s reporters on October 13 purchased 10 white eggs at 37,000 dong from a stall at Thai Binh Market. The seller said that the eggs were sourced from a farm in Lam Dong province.
The boiled eggs showed there was much white and little yolk, while the yolk was straw coloured as might be expected from factory farmed chicken eggs.
An egg supplier on Phu Huu Road in district 5 of HCM City also said most of the eggs on sales at traditional markets are the “industrial eggs” which have been bleached.