Punjab Saturday imposed a one year ban on the sale of Nestle’s Maggi noodles and its manufacturing at a plant in Moga, going one step ahead of other states in the crackdown against the popular brand.
Delhi, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are the other states that have banned sale of Maggi.
Karnataka said it was also looking into safety standards followed by other brands of noodles, while Mizoram said it would announce a ban on Maggi on Monday.
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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said it would also test samples of instant noodles across brands to ensure food safety, and examine branded pasta and macaroni products as well.
“We will check all other instant noodles brands. Why should we restrict ourselves to one brand?,” FSSAI CEO Yudhvir Singh Malik told PTI. “On Monday, we will publish names of all the brands of instant noodles, macaroni and pasta which have taken approval from the FSSAI to sell their products.
Samples of those brands will be collected for testing,” Malik said.
“The brands or products that have not taken approval are unauthorised and an action would be contemplated against them. There would be many brands which have not taken approval from FSSAI”.
Asked about possible action against brand ambassadors of food products, Malik said “not right now” and that they must be given “benefit of doubt”.
However, he said, the Consumer Affairs Ministry can take action against the brand ambassadors. “They may or may not have an idea about the ingredients of the product, but they should be sensitised and be aware about the product they are promoting,” Malik said.
Maharashtra announced its ban after three of six Maggi samples tested by it in a city lab were found to contain lead more than the permissible level (4.66 PPM against the permissible 2.5 PPM).