State orders tests on Maggi

State orders tests on Maggi

Trouble seems to be mounting for Nestle India, makers of Maggi Noodles, after the State government sought a safety report on the product from three different laboratories.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader said that samples would be examined at the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, and two recognised private laboratories in Bengaluru. Top Ramen and other instant noodles samples will also be tested.

The decision to impose a ban on these products will be taken after the reports are out. The reports are expected in a day or two. Khader said that if need be, these samples would also be examined in other states.

“Do not eat Maggi until laboratory reports are out. Retailers have been asked to withhold the product,” said Khader. Officials have been directed to inspect factories where the product is manufactured, the minister added.

In Bihar, a court in Muzaffarpur ordered an FIR against Maggi brand ambassadors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta. The court also told the police to arrest the actors if required.

The order came during the hearing of a case filed by a lawyer, Sudhir Kumar Ojha. The complainant claimed he purchased Maggi packets from a shop in Muzaffarpur on May 30 and that he fell ill after consuming it. This prompted him to file a case against Nestle and the film stars.
Maggi samples in New Delhi were found “unsafe” for consumption during tests by the Delhi Government, while state-run retail outlets in Kerala were ordered to withdraw these products. Haryana also ordered random lifting of Maggi samples for scrutiny.

The trouble first began for Nestle India when samples taken from a store in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh were found to contain monosodium glutamate and lead above the permissible limit.

The tests found that quantum of lead present was 17 times more than the stipulated limit, which is considered hazardous.

The Delhi government on Tuesday said that food safety officers were directed to collect Maggi samples from various parts of the city following newspaper reports and email from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

The Delhi government claimed that 10 out of 13 samples picked up last week were found unsafe, as it had lead exceeding the prescribed limits of 2.5 ppm.

“Five samples of masala were also having monosodium glutamate without proper label declaration. This falls under the category of misbranding,” the government said.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kerala Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Anoop Jacob, said: “Samples have already been sent for laboratory tests. Till a final word is out on the issue, we thought that a temporary stoppage of sale in Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation stores was imperative.”

Haryana also ordered tests on Tuesday. Health Minster Anil Vij said: “I have asked the Director-General of Health Services to direct all chief medical officers to depute staff to lift samples from every district. The samples will be lifted randomly.”

Nestle India Ltd on Tuesday clarified that extensive testing has revealed that no lead was found in Maggi noodles, DHNS reports from Bengaluru.

“We understand that consumers are concerned by reports that the authorities in Uttar Pradesh have found elevated levels of lead in a sample pack of Maggi noodles. We are fully cooperating with the authorities who are conducting further tests and we are awaiting their results,” a statement from Nestle India Ltd said.

“ We have also submitted samples of Maggi Noodles from almost 600 product batches to an external laboratory for independent analysis and we tested samples from almost 1,000 batches at our accredited laboratory. These samples represent around 125 million (12.5 crore) packets. All the results of these internal and external tests show that lead levels are well within the limits specified by food regulations and that Maggi noodles are safe to eat. We are sharing these results with the authorities,” added the statement.

“ We regularly monitor all our raw material for lead, including testing by accredited laboratories which have consistently shown levels in Maggi noodles to be within permissible limits,” added the statement.

“ In addition, we remain committed to continuing to improve the quality of agricultural raw materials across the food chain working with farmers, suppliers, authorities and the food industry to ensure food safety. The quality and safety of our products are the top priorities for our company,” added the statement.

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