[Representational image]Creative Commons

Fake eggs — purportedly made of plastic — have flooded the markets in and around Kolkata by the thousands, according to the local police. And as the news spread, people from all across the country took to social media to express panic, share videos of how such eggs are made, and how such food items can be detrimental to health.

The catalyst

The Kolkata Police were alerted of the threat when a woman named Anita Kumar lodged a complaint with them, saying when she broke an egg to make an omelette, plastic came out. Her complaint led to a probe, which has led the police to believe that such fake eggs have flooded markets in and around Kolkata. 

Kolkata Mayor and West Bengal Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee has said in the aftermath of the complaints that the Enforcement Department will investigate how the eggs were made, how they came to the market, who made them and who distributed them. 

Also read: German minister slams 'veggie meats'; calls them confusing and misleading

On social media

The eggs are believed to have come to India from China via Nepal. This suspicion alone has led numerous people to take to Facebook and share videos that purportedly show how these eggs are made from white and yellow-coloured polythene materials. Here is one such video, which was shared by many people across several pages: 

Another thing that is regularly popping up is how to tell the difference between these fake and the real eggs. Here are some tips: 

1. The shell of a fake egg will often be thinner and more brittle than that of a real egg.

2. Fake eggs will emit the smell of burnt plastic. 

3. When they are boiled, the fake eggs will not have the fleshy or meaty smell of real eggs.