Punjab bans Maggi sale for one year

Punjab bans Maggi sale for one year

A day after Nestle pulled Maggi noodles from the shelves in the country, the Punjab Government today banned the sale of popular instant food in the state for one year after its samples failed laboratory tests.

The state government also imposed a ban on manufacturing and distribution of all nine variants of the instant noodles from Nestle's Moga-located plant with immediate effect.

Punjab has now joined 12 states - Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura - which have banned Maggi noodles amid mounting food safety fears.

The state government has also asked Nestle to recall Maggi noodles' entire stock from the markets in the state.

The order to this effect was issued here by Commissioner of Food Safety, Punjab, Hussan Lal, an official statement said.

Nestle has been directed to comply with the Food Safety and Standards Act and the applicable regulations. After obtaining necessary approval from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the company can approach for review of this order, the statement said.

Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Surjit K Jyani said the step has been taken in view of the interest of health of the people.

Food safety officers at Moga, Kapurthala, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar (Mohali), and Sangrur districts lifted Maggi noodles' samples from market and sent them to the State Food and Drug Laboratory at Chandigarh for testing.

Lead content was found within the permissible limit which is less than 2.5 ppm, as per the test report.

However, presence of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) was confirmed in the samples whereas the same has not been declared on the label of the product, which is mandatory as per the provisions of the Regulation 2.4.5 (18) (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 Rules and Regulations, 2011, said an official spokesman.

Also a statement "No MSG added" has been declared on the label of the product, which is in clear violation of Section 24 of FSSA. Hence, the report has concluded that the product is "misbranded and misleading", the spokesman said.

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