After Delhi, four more states–Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand–today banned the sale of Maggi noodles, as the popular instant snack came under mounting scrutiny over food safety concerns.
The Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand governmenta banned the sale of Nestle’s instant noodles for three months while in Gujarat the ban will be effective for one month after some samples of the food had failed lab tests, officials said in Chennai, Dehradun and Gandhinagar.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the state government banned the sale for one month till the receipt of reports over the fitness of the fast food for human consumption.
The Assam government, on the other hand, imposed a ban on Maggi Extra Delicious Chicken noodles, with state health commissioner Sanjeeva Kumar saying laboratory test had described this particular variant of Maggi noodles unsafe for consumption.
“While the laboratory today gave its report on Maggi Extra Delicious Chicken noodles only, so we have imposed a ban, initially for one month, on this particular variant of Maggi. We are waiting for the laboratory test report on the other Maggi variants as well as some other noodles brands,” Kumar said.
Accordingly, sale, storage and distribution of Maggi Extra Delicious Chicken noodles has been banned for one month, the health commissioner said. Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh health secretary Indra Mallo said laboratory test report of the Maggi samples collected from different districts of the state are expected within Saturday.
“Since we have to ensure the safety of health of general public, we have imposed a ban on the sale of Maggi products for one month, with immediate effect,” Minister for Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali said at a press conference in Srinagar. “The District magistrates are hereby directed to impose a complete ban on the sale of Maggi products in the state and the Nestle India is directed to withdraw all the stocks from the market forthwith”.
Before taking a decision on banning the Maggi noodles, the J-K government has already seized tens of thousands of Maggi packets from the market. “We have seized 122376 packets of Maggi noodles from the main distributor of Nestle India in Srinagar,” said Assistant Controller Food safety Srinagar Hilal Ahmad Mir. “Fresh six more samples of Maggi brand have been lifted from Srinagar for analytical purpose and sent to referral laboratory for testing. Two samples have also been sent to accredited laboratory for testing,” he said.
In fact, according to Drugs and food control organisation J&K officials, the department has issued an advisory to the general public, asking them not to consume Maggi noodles till the reports of referral/-accredited laboratory are made public.
“A decision to ban the sale of Maggi was taken late last night in public interest by the Food Security Department as 2 of a 300 odd samples of the food product failed laboratory tests,” Uttarakhand Principal Secretary Health Om Prakash said.
The decision was prompted by the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the samples sent for laboratory tests to Rudrapur in Udhamsingh Nagar district, he said.
“As the matter concerns public health we lost no time in imposing a ban on the popular food product in Uttarakhand. An order pronouncing the ban and seeking immediate withdrawal of the product from market places is being formally issued today,” he said.
Hours after the instant food product was banned in Uttarakhand, Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel also announced the decision to ban the sale Maggi in the state for one month.
The Gujarat government has also asked the company to withdraw all its stock of Maggi from the state.
Apart from Maggi, the state government also tested one sample each of instant noodles of Sunfeast and S K Foods and has banned the latter for a month as high lead content of 4 PPM was found in it.
“Twenty seven samples collected from different parts of the state were tested by Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration. The test has shown that lead was present above the prescribed limit while Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) was also present,” Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel said.
(With inputs from PTI)