More reports on: Foods / beverages

Maggi noodles to be back, but not instantly

17 October 2015

The much-loved Maggi noodles are set to be back on grocers' shelves, as Nestle India on Friday announced that it would start making the noodles again as all samples of the brand have been tested and cleared by the three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court.

The judges had ordered the company to send five samples of each variant to three accredited labs in Punjab, Hyderabad and Jaipur and asked the labs to give reports within six weeks.

However, it will take some time for the snack to be back in the market, as the company said it will only resume sales it after the three designated labs also clear the newly manufactured products apart from the old samples.

"We have received test results from all three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court to test Maggi noodles samples. All the 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by these laboratories are clear with lead much below the permissible limits," Nestle India said in a statement.

"Nestlé India has always maintained that Maggi Noodles are safe. Nestlé India has conducted over 3,500 tests representing over 200 million packs in both national as well as international accredited laboratories and all reports are clear.

''In addition to these, various countries, including USA, the UK, Singapore, Australia and others have found the noodles manufactured in India safe for consumption," it added.

The company, which had earlier said it was planning to bring back the Maggi noodles in the market by the end of this year end, said it is committed to reintroducing Maggi noodles at the earliest.

Nestle will continue to collaborate with the FSSAI, the apex food regulator and other stakeholders, the company said.

In June, the FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles saying it was unsafe and hazardous for consumption after finding lead levels beyond permissible limits. The company had withdrawn the instant noodles from the market.

Nestle India had challenged the ban in the Bombay High Court. In August, the court lifted the nationwide ban imposed by the Indian food regulator on Maggi noodles but ordered a fresh test of the samples in three independent labs.

The HC had observed, "It is not in dispute that the laboratories in which these food samples were tested were either not accredited by NABL or not recognised by the Food Authority under Section 43(1) of the Act or even if they were accredited or notified, they were not accredited to make analysis in respect of lead in the samples."

A division bench comprising Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawalla also set aside the 5 June order of the FSSAI. It also quashed the order of Maharashtra's Food and Drugs Administration banning production and sale of Maggi noodles in India and the state.

(Also See: McCann's Prasoon Joshi may orchestrate Maggi re-launch)

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