Big Bazaar stops Maggi sale at stores across India

Big Bazaar stops Maggi sale at stores across India

In a major setback for Nestle, the country's largest supermarket chain operator Future Group today stopped sale of the Swiss multinational's famous Maggi noodles brand at all its stores across the country.

The move -- the first by a retailer in the country -- follows country-wide probe against the 'two-minute' instant food brand for alleged presence of lead and taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) beyond permissible limits.

"In the interest of consumer sentiment and concerns, we have taken Maggi noodles off the shelves from all our stores for the time being. We will wait for more clarity from authorities to take any further course of action," a Future Group spokesperson said.

Modern retail outlets like Big Bazaar run by the Future Group contribute a large chunk of sales for FMCG firms, including Nestle.

The Future Group operates retail formats under brands such as Big Bazaar, Easy day, KB's and Nilgiris, with 570 stores across 243 cities.

Today, Nestle India said it has not received any order from the central or any state FDA authority for recall of its Maggi noodles as the controversy over safety issues deepened.

"We have not received any official communication from the authorities so far," the company said in a BSE filing.

Nestle's Maggi noodle has been at the centre of a raging storm after UP FDA tests found higher than stipulated levels of lead and MSG in it.

Several state governments have ordered similar tests.Yesterday, the Delhi government decided to initiate a case against Nestle India after it found samples of Maggi noodles "unsafe" for consumption. The probe into alleged lapses has already widened to different parts of the country.

However, Nestle India claimed that it has got samples tested in an external laboratory as well as its in-house one, and the product is found "safe to eat". 

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