Kolkata’s tryst with plastic eggs

One arrested as councillors swoop local markets


April 3, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

Eggs are the most consumed breakfast choice in India

Eggs are the most popular breakfast choice in India

A recent incident uncovered ‘artificial, plastic’ eggs in Kolkata, as a housewife from Tiljala area of the city filed a complaint that stirred the civic body and alarmed the citizens. The accused was immediately arrested.

Imagine cooking your favourite sunny-side up for a quick breakfast, only to find it catching fire like plastic! Tiljala’s Anita Kumar confronted this situation and immediately lodged a complaint, on the basis of which civic bodies swung into action. On Friday, the concerned body adopted all measures to seize the alleged artificial eggs. The primary accused, shopkeeper Mohammed Shamim Ansari of Park Circus Market, was promptly arrested by cops from the Karaya. Kumar, who lodged a complaint at Karaya police station on Thursday, stated, “I tested my suspicion by putting a match to it and it caught fire. The shell also looked like plastic. I was sure that this was not natural and, being a mother, I felt I should alert the public.”

Food safety officials, led by Mayor-in-Council (Health), Atin Ghosh, also raided the wholesale market in Muchipara, from where Ansari secured his stock, along with other city markets. Samples were collected for laboratory tests to check for adulteration. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation is probing deeper to bring the offenders to justice.

Food adulteration is a punishable offence under the Penal Code of India. Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Kolkata Police commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, merged forces to launch a war against food adulteration in the city and vowed to “get to the bottom of the truth”.

The Concern

Adulteration of food items in itself is a pressing matter; however, given that eggs are consumed almost every day by a majority of the population worsens the situation. Egg is a cheaper, non-vegetarian protein alternative to chicken. The consumption of the ‘plastic’ eggs can lead to long term and short term health problems.

It has been reported that egg sales dropped in the city after the news surfaced, as people are finding it tough to trust their sellers. The wholesaler from Muchipara reacted to the police inquisition by retorting, “I did not sell plastic eggs to anybody, but, at the same time, it is good that the authorities are investigating the source of fake or plastic eggs so that the confidence of people is restored quickly for the sake of business.”

Buyers can inform the concerned body about any reports/leads on the helpline numbers 033-22861212 and 033-22861218.



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