The Delhi government on Wednesday banned the sale of Maggi for 15 days and instructed Nestle India to remove its existing stock from the market immediately, while giving the company a “chance” to replace the tested batch products.
The ban will be reviewed after 15 days. The government will also test the fresh batch before allowing it back on the shelves. Meanwhile, it has also decided to inspect all other brands of instant noodles.
Announcing the ban, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said the decision was taken after 12 of 13 samples failed tests carried out on Tuesday by the state’s Food Safety department. It had found lead higher than permissible limits and the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the samples.
Nestle authorities also met Jain and Food Safety department officials on Wednesday morning and presented their stand after the government tests showed the samples did not meet food safety requirements.
“Based of instructions by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), we collected 13 samples of Maggi last week. Ten had high lead content and five had MSG, while the company claims it does not use MSG on all their packs. Nestle officials met us on Wednesday and gave us their submission but we were not satisfied with it. The sale of Maggi is now banned in Delhi with immediate effect till the next 15 days and we are instructing the company to take this batch of Maggi off the market. We are giving them the chance to replace these products and we will review our decision in 15 days,” Jain told reporters. The minister said the government was not “declaring Maggi unsafe”.
“There is a problem with this batch we have tested. Maybe all batches will not have this problem,” Jain said.
According to Jain, Nestle representatives had told Health department authorities that Maggi is meeting the safety limits, as shown by tests they have done in “internal and external accredited laboratories”.
Sources said the detailed test reports received by the department on Wednesday found that of 13 tested parameters — including salt, sugar, caramel, heavy metals — the samples failed tests for lead and MSG. Sources said in ten of the 13 samples, lead levels ranged from 3.54 to 4.59 PPM against the permitted 2.50 parts per million lead.
The Health Minister said “due legal proceedings will be followed according to the provisions of the Food Adulteration Act”.
The government will also start inspecting “all other brands” of instant noodles from Thursday for the same parameters. “For now we are only checking instant noodle brands because of the concerns raised due to Maggi. We will expand the testing for other food categories after completing our tests. There will be no tolerance to substandard food materials being sold in Delhi,” Jain said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines