How to check eggs without breaking? Teachers in fix over mid-day meal order

Teachers say they want training on what plastic eggs look like, fear students will reject broken eggs.

ranchi Updated: Apr 24, 2017 11:11 IST
Subhash Mishra
Subhash Mishra
Hindustan Times, Dhanbad
Plastic Eggs,Eggs,Mid-day Meal

Government school teachers in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad are baffled by an order to check the quality of eggs before serving them to students for mid-day meals.

The directive was given three days ago to check fears of plastic eggs making their way onto students’ plates but teachers say they are now faced with a bigger problem: How to find out an egg’s quality without breaking it?

Teachers wrote back to the district superintendent of education (DSE), which issued an advisory to first boil the egg and then break it to check if it was genuine.

But teachers say this is an even bigger problem because they don’t know what a plastic egg looks like.

“We are in a fix and want the department to train us on identifying a natural egg and a plastic egg,” said a principal, requesting not to be identified.

There are average 250 to 300 children in an usual government primary school across Dhanbad district. If teachers boil the egg and then start breaking it one by one to check their quality, it will take hours. Worse, children may not like broken eggs served to them.

“Whether an egg is original or plastic can only be identified after breaking it and that would not be possible for us to do in such a short lunch hour. There are 310 students in our school and it would be an uphill task to distribute eggs among them after testing each piece,” another school principal added.

But the government says teachers are complaining for no reason and has ruled out any training sessions.

“The teachers will have to apply their common sense by gently hitting and seeing through the eggs to verify their quality,” DSE Vinit Kumar said. “This is not a big task. I think there should not be a debate or confusion on a task assigned to them.”

The fears of plastic eggs started after scores of such artificial eggs were seized from Kolkata last month. Due to its proximity to Bengal, Jharkhand too is a vulnerable market for the entry of these eggs, officials think.

As per rules laid down in the state government education department charter, students have to be given boiled egg in mid-day meal on at least three days a week i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in week along with other prescribed nutritious food items.

After reports of the presence of suspected plastic eggs in the market, the education department swung in to action to ensure foul eggs do not make it to the launch plates of the children.

On Wednesday, a Dhanbad based consumer Md Irshad lodged a complaint wit- the district health department that boiled plastic egg was served to him in a road side eatery.

The department immediately sized samples of eggs from various shops and sent them for tests at the state food laboratory in Ranchi on Thursday. Raids were also carried out in different areas of district to identify sources of supply.

First Published: Apr 24, 2017 10:21 IST