Maharashtra, Punjab states ban Maggi noodles

Maharashtra, Punjab states ban Maggi noodles

Two more states--Maharashtra and Punjab--have found samples of Maggi noodles in violation of food safety standards and imposed a ban on their sale today, a day after production and sale of all the nine variants of the instant snack was barred by the food safety regulator.

The regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), meanwhile, said it will test samples of instant noodles across brands to ensure food safety.

FSSAI said it will also examine branded pasta and macaroni products while asserting that it's not considering any action against brand ambassadors as of now.

"We will check all other instant noodles brands as well. Why should we restrict to one brand? We are drawing samples of other noodles brand," FSSAI CEO Yudhvir Singh Malik told PTI.

Delhi, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Uttarakhand earlier banned Maggi noodles amid mounting food safety concerns.

Maharashtra Food and Drug minister Girish Bapat while announcing the ban said lab tests proved higher levels of lead in the samples tested in a Mumbai lab last night.

Out of six samples tested in a city lab, three contained lead more that the permissible levels, Bapat said, adding that those who violated ban would be subjected to "strict action" by food and drug authorities.

The three samples singled out contained 4.66 PPM as against 2.5 PPM which is a permissible level.

"Retailers should return the old stocks of Maggi to the distributors with effect from Saturday June 6 till further orders," Bapat said.

In Punjab, the government banned the sale of Maggi noodles as well as its manufacturing at its Moga plant.

"We have conducted lab tests on these products and found more than permitted concentration of Monosodium Glutamate in samples taken from various districts," State Commissioner Food and Drug Administration Hussan Lal said.

However, the lead content was found within the permissible limit, he added.

With the Maggi row raging, the Karnataka government has brought other noodle manufacturing companies also under the scanner, ordering testing of their samples for safety standards.

Any decision on banning Maggi would be taken only after getting supporting reports and government is also looking into the safety standards followed by other brands of noodles, Karnataka Health Minister U T Khader told reporters.

Himachal Pradesh government said it will take strict action if samples of any noodle brand are found to be sub-standard as per food safety standards.

"We will launch prosecution against companies if samples of noodles brand are found to be sub-standard," state Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur told reporters.

He said that directions had been issued to officials concerned to collect sample of Maggi brand for testing.

Cracking down on Swiss giant Nestle, FSSAI yesterday banned all variants of Maggi noodles terming them as "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.

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