Complaint filed after worms found in Nestle's Cerelac in Coimbatore

Complaint filed after worms found in Nestle's Cerelac in Coimbatore
Still fighting the Maggi noodles crisis in court, Nestle India on Tuesday was hit by another potential trouble-spot with a consumer filing a complaint with the food safety watchdog saying that a packet of baby food Cerelac was found infested with worms in Coimbatore.

"We have received a complaint about a worm-infested packet of Cerelac. We have sent the packet for tests. We will be collecting three more samples of the same Cerelac variant and send it for tests," R. Kathiravan, the designated officer of the food safety and drug administration, told IANS over phone from Coimbatore, around 500 km from the Tamil Nadu capital.

M.S. Sriram, the complainant, also told IANS over phone from Coimbatore: "We bought the Cerelac packet on Sunday. It was opened only on Monday around noon by my wife to feed our baby. To her shock, she found worms in the powder and called me."

"The expiry date on the pack was printed as February 2016. We always buy food products after checking the expiry date," Sriram said.

He said he then called Nestle India's toll-free complaint number and got a "pathetic response".

"The response I got at the toll-free number was horrible. Hence I decided to take the issue further by making a complaint to the food safety department," Sriram said.

Only after the issue escalated did Nestle India officials start acting.

"A company official called me and apologised for what happened to me with their product. He gave a new packet and said the company would also take the issue forward by testing the samples," Sriram said.

According to Kathiravan, there was a remote chance of a properly packed product getting infested with worms.

Incidentally, this was the second such complaint in Coimbatore with Nestle India's baby food.

On June 2, a person said he found larvae and worms in a packet of Nestle's NanPro 3 milk powder.

"After that complaint, we collected samples of that product from other shops and tested them. The test results were positive for the company as they were not contaminated," Kathiravan said.

He said the product would get infested with worms only when moisture enters the packet.

Nestle India officials were not immediately reachable for comments.

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