Food safety watchdog FSSAI today said it has not given any clean chit to Nestle's banned Maggi noodles as it rubbished all-clear reports from two of its own empanelled labs, saying there were lapses in the tests.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, in a rare press statement, rejected findings of the Food & Drugs Laboratory of Goa as well as CFTRI, Mysore over test discrepancies. It also cast doubts over clean chits to Maggi noodles by UK and Singapore labs saying the Swiss food giant has not shared details of foreign test reports.
Rubbishing tests done by the Goa lab, the food regulator said food analysts at the lab had "wrongly taken the permissible limit of Lead as 10 parts per million as against the actual maximum permissible level of 2.5 ppm".
On the report of the CFTRI on the same sample, FSSAI said the Mysore lab had not tested the noodles for the banned MSG.
"It is clarified in the first instance that FSSAI has not given any clean chit regarding the safety of Maggi Noodles," it said in the statement that followed reports that the Goa and Mysore labs have found Maggi samples safe.
FSSAI said the samples tested by labs at Goa and subsequently Mysore were primarily drawn from Nestle's Bicholim factory in Goa, which manufactures the noodles largely for exports to as many as eight countries.
"In any case, the test results of Goa samples had no bearing on the order dated 5th June, 2015 as the samples tested qua Goa were not assumed to be unsafe while passing the Recall order by FSSAI. As such, the present test reports do not have any bearing on that order," it said.
On reports of Maggi Noodles being found safe in UK and Singapore, the regulator said it had requested Nestle India to share details of the tests but the company "has not shared the details of the said test reports of UK and Singapore Regulators with the FSSAI stating that they do not have this information".
FSSAI said the Food Safety Department of Goa had drawn 5 samples of Maggi Noodles on its direction issued in May. These samples were first sent to Goa-based Food and Drugs Laboratory and later to Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI).
While the lead content has been found to be within permissible limits of test reports of CFTRI, FSSAI said: "A perusal of the tests results from CFTRI, Mysore shows that the said samples have not been tested for MSG."
It further said, Nestle has not responded to the show cause notice of June 5.
The regulator also said that Nestle had informed earlier that all their Maggi noodles for exports to eight countries were manufactured only at the Goa factory.
"Part of the local domestic supplies, including 4 out of 5 samples tested, were also from the product manufactured at the Bicholim (Goa) factory," FSSAI said in a statement.
In June, FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles only after it found 30 samples "unsafe and hazardous for human consumption." Subsequently few also decided to ban the noodles.
FSSAI had also said that Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer 'MSG' and ordered company to submit compliance report on its orders.