Maggi samples from Mysuru sent to Bengaluru laboratory

CFTRI cites 'jurisdictional issue' for testing noodles

Maggi samples from Mysuru sent to Bengaluru laboratory

The Food Safety and Standards department on Thursday sent samples of Maggi noodles collected in Mysuru to a private laboratory in Bengaluru for testing.

The Central Food Technological Institute (CFTRI) had expressed its inability to test the samples citing “jurisdictional issue.”

Two samples each of the same batches lifted from Nestle India Factory at Nanjangud in Mysuru district and a supermarket in Mysuru city were delivered by hand to the laboratory in the State capital on Thursday. The laboratory is accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories and approved by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). 

Considering the seriousness of the complaints over excessive lead content in the noodles, the department has sought a report from the laboratory within three-four days, an officer told Deccan Herald, requesting anonymity.

On the other hand, CFTRI director Ram Rajasekharan told media that the institute was bound by jurisdictional norms, making it impossible to test the samples lifted in local area, in this case Mysuru coming under Karnataka. “It is possible only if it is directed through FSSAI,” he said.

Referring to the notification of FSSAI dated December 2, 2004, Rajasekharan said the Central Food Laboratory, No 3, KYD Street, Kolkata, is permitted to test the food samples from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 

He clarified that the CFTRI can test the samples from Bihar, Goa, Delhi (UT), Jharkhand among other states. The jurisdictions are classified only to avoid interference and bias, a continuation of the system in practice earlier.

“The designated officer of food safety, who came with the samples on Wednesday, was apprised of the issue and was asked to take the samples to Kolkata, and not rejected as reported in the media,” said Rajasekharan. 

He said the Institute tested as many as 1,500 food samples each year. Reacting to media queries, Rajasekharan denied that the institute had developed any technology for Nestle India. The company (Nestle) has its own research and development wing. He said the CFTRI Open Day this year will focus on food safety.

The sale of noodles has taken a hit in Mysuru following the controversy, with a superstockist refusing to buy the fresh batch of the product. It has had a cascading affect on the retailers, too, with most of the product taken off the shelves, said another source.

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