Consumer products major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has decided to stop production and sale of its Chinese range of instant noodles till such time as its application is approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
HUL said it is initiating a withdrawal of its Chinese instant noodles from the market. But the company insisted that its products are regularly tested at FSSAI-approved laboratories in addition to complying with strict internal quality standards.
Following the damaging test results of Nestle's Maggie noodles and its subsequent recall, the FSSAI has decided to ask companies to submit third-party test reports of their products every six months.
FSSAI makes its own assessments on the basis of an analysis of these third-party lab tests before granting approvals for new products. But, it will now start asking for third-party test results of such products every six month.
HUL had submitted an application with FSSAI for product approval for the Knorr Chinese range of instant noodles in February 2015, which is pending approval. This is in conformance with FSSAI's 8 June advisory to state FDAs with regard to product approvals.
''All HUL food products are regularly tested at Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) approved laboratories in addition to complying with strict internal quality standards. All suppliers are periodically audited by external accredited auditing agencies.
"As a responsible manufacturer and to reassure consumers, HUL has last week conducted additional testing of its noodles range of products from external FSSAI approved laboratory. All these tests show that the Chinese noodles range of products are safe for consumption and continue to meet all regulatory norms,'' HUL stated in a release.
FSSAI is now contemplating setting standards that require fast-food companies serving products such as burgers and pizzas also to declare the nutritional value and content of their products.
This is to ensure that these fast-food chains declare calories and fat-content levels on their menus.