Egyptians unload donkey meat fears with dark humour
Fears that donkey meat has found its way into butchers and market places in Egypt has caused panic in the North African country during the lead up to the Eid al-Adha festival
Egyptian newspapers reported that flesh from the beast of burden has "flooded" markets with pro-regime media issuing warnings about the tell tale signs of the black market meat.
It came while Egyptians were eagerly preparing to dig into their Eid meals - traditionally beef or lamb - with reports emerging that donkey meat was being passed off to unsuspecting customers.
There have been numerous reports in recent weeks of individuals unlawfully selling off donkey meat as beef.
Police raided a slaughterhouse in the southern city of Sohag and seized 250 donkey carcases, presumably headed to dinner tables around the country.
A video of a lorry allegedly transporting donkeys into Cairo ahead of Eid has been widely shared on social media.
"Happy Eid guys. I wonder what all these donkeys are doing on their way to Cairo," a man off camera can be heard saying.
Pro-regime daily Youm7 published an article on Friday with tips for consumers to avoid being duped into buying donkey during the holiday.
"The meat is identifiable by its reddish-blue colour. After cooking it for a few hours it darkens to a rusty hue," the newspaper advised.
"After cooking, the meat's texture is much tougher than other meats because it contains higher levels of starchy carbohydrates."
Egyptians have rushed to social media to shed a bit of dark humour on the ongoing food scandal.
Translation: "Happy Eid. Please eat with us, don't worry it's not donkey meat."
According to a poll conducted in February by Baseera, the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research, an estimated 4.3 million Egyptians believe they have recently eaten donkey meat or meat tainted with donkey flesh.
Last year, Egypt's top food safety official said that as long as the beast has been slaughtered hygienically, it is perfectly safe to eat the meat.