Temporary ban on Maggi in State

Temporary ban on Maggi in State

Manufacturing of Maggi noodles and its sale in Karnataka have been banned temporarily, following a directive by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Nestle, the manufacturers of Maggi, is also required to withdraw its stock from all  stores with immediate effect. If the product is being sold, then the Health department will book cases against the store keeper, according to Health Minister U T Khader.

Addressing the media on Saturday, the minister said, “Karnataka will effect a complete ban on Maggi  only after it gets a final report from the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata.”

According to the test commissioned by his department in a private laboratory, the lead content in Maggi noodles is below the permissible levels, the minister said.

The Health department is also awaiting lab reports from a Peenya-based lab to ascertain the Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), a salt of the amino acid, in Maggi. The lab report is expected on Monday, following which, the department will send a copy to the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata. If the laboratory confirms that the product is harmful for consumption, Karnataka ban it. The department will also test cooked Maggi, he added.

As per the FSSAI directive, Nestle India has indulged in three major violations: presence of lead is in excess of the permissible levels of 2.5ppm; misleading labeling information on the package reading 'No added MSG'; release of a non-standard used food product in the market - Maggi Oats Masala Noodles, without risk assessment and grant of product approval.

The directive of the Central food safety regulator has been sent to the Nestle manufacturing units in Karnataka, added Khader. Criticising CFTRI Mysuru for not accepting the Maggi samples for tests, Khader said, “This is an emergency situation. CFTRI should have kept aside its rules and helped us take a stand.” Seven to eight other noodle products, including Top Ramen, Knorr, Sunfeast, have also been sent for testing. The minister, who held a meeting with City nutritionists, said the department will test energy drink 'Red Bull' and protein powder products. “Our next target will be energy drink and protein powder manufacturers . If they (products) are found to be adulterated, action will be taken against them,” he added. Action will be taken against those units which indulge in artificially ripening of mangoes, he said.

Lead content within permissible levels

The Health department had sent samples to the two Bengaluru- based NABL-accredited labs - Robust Materials Technology Pvt Ltd and TUV SUD labs for testing. Robust has said  lead content is 'below detection limit'. While the permissible levels is 2.5 parts per million (ppm), the lead content in the samples of Maggi manufactured in State is 0.05 ppm. TUV SUD labs will submit its report on the presence of MSG in Maggi on Monday.

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