Maggi to be back by year end

Bombay High Court order bolsters Nestle
Last Updated 23 August 2015, 19:37 IST

Maggi noodles may be back in the market by year end when producer Nestle hopes to get regulatory clearances.

The noodles brand was ordered off the shelves by food regulator FSSAI in June, after safety tests showed high level of lead content that made it “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.

Nestle India, the manufacturer of the noodles, had challenged the FSSAI order in the Bombay High Court which ruled in its favour subject to food safety tests clearance by three independent laboratories.

“By the time we get everything done (getting clearances), it will be middle of September. I can tell you this quarter ‘no’. Subsequent quarter, we will try (to bring back Maggi),” Nestle India Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said.He said the company would not change any ingredients used to manufacture the instant noodles.

The Court had ordered food safety tests on five samples from each of the 750 batches of the noodles kept aside by Nestle in three laboratories for lead content. The three labs are Vimta Lab, Hyderabad; Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali; and CEG Test House and Research Centre, Jaipur.

If the lead is found within permissible limits, Nestle would be permitted to manufacture all the variants of noodles for which product approval was granted by FSSAI. The freshly manufactured noodles will again undergo tests in the said three laboratories and if the lead is found within permissible limits, Nestle would be permitted to sell its product.

As far as “Maggi Oats Masala Noddles with Tastemaker” was concerned, the court had asked Nestle to follow procedure in obtaining product approval. However, the company’s troubles do not end here. TheCentre has slapped a class action suit against Nestle demanding Rs 640 crore in damages for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements.

(Published 23 August 2015, 19:37 IST)

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