New Delhi | India’s food safety regulator today ordered recall of all nine approved variants of Maggi instant noodles from the market and banned their production and sale even as Nestle said unfounded reasons led to confusion over its safety.
As Madhya Pradesh became the sixth state to enforce a ban on the noodles, the Swiss major’s global CEO Paul Bulcke maintained that it was absolutely safe for consumption and promised to win the trust of customer and bring the popular snack on the shelves as soon as possible.
Late last evening, Nestle India decided to take Maggi noodles off the shelves after a controversy erupted over the alleged presence of lead and MSG in the instant snack.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) while ordering the recall of the nine variants, called them unsafe and hazardous for human consumption.
The regulator also served a showcause notice to Nestle and asked it reply within 15 days as to why the product approval given to it on the nine variants should not be withdrawn.
The company is further directed to submit a compliance report in this behalf within a period of three days and furnish progress reports on the recall process on a daily basis thereafter till the process is completed, the order issued by Y S Malik Chief Executive Officer FSSAI said.
It also said Nestle launched ‘Maggi Oats Masala Noodles’ without approval and ordered its recall, saying the company did not undertake risk and safety assessment for the product.
Withdraw and recall all the nine approved variants of its Maggi Instant Noodles from the market having been found unsafe and hazardous for human consumption, and stop further production, processing, import, distribution and sale ofthe saidproduct with immediate effect, the order said. FSSAI said that Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered the company to submit compliance report on its orders within three days.
Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand have banned the sale of Maggi noodles, as it came under mounting scrutiny over food safety concerns.
Bulcke flew in here from Switzerland to take stock of the situation in the wake of the massive controversy. We felt unfounded reasons resulted in confusion and the trust of consumers was shaken, Bulcke told reporters.
We apply the same quality standards and methods in the world here in India too. Our tests have found that Maggi is absolutely safe. He said the company is cooperating with authorities in India by sharing tests methodologies to find how lead was found beyond permissible limits in tests done by authorities in its efforts to bring Maggi on the shelves as soon as possible. Our main focus is to win the trust of customer. Union Health Minister J P Nadda said there will be no compromise on food safety.
MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that till it is proved that Maggi noodles are not harmful for the health, there will be a ban in the state on its sale.
In some good news for Nestle, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said no objectionable material was found in Maggi noodles in the state after lab tests were conducted and hence no action was taken.
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