TATA Starbucks announced on Monday that it was “suspending” the use of ingredients whose product approvals were rejected by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The move comes six days after The Indian Express reported that products used by a number of top brands, including Tata Starbucks, Kellogg’s and Venky’s, figured on a list of around 500 rejected products prepared by the national food safety regulator.
The FSSAI had handed over the list to state-level officials in a meeting held on June 4, a day before it halted the sale and manufacture of Nestle’s Maggi Noodles after lab tests showed unsafe levels of lead in some samples.
In the case of Tata Starbucks, this newspaper had reported that the rejected ingredients continued to be available in the market, with staff in two Delhi outlets unaware that those products had been denied approval.
“In line with the FSSAI guidelines, while we finalise the documentation necessary to complete these applications, Tata Starbucks has initiated the suspension of applicable ingredients from certain products served in our India stores,” said a statement issued by Tata Starbucks Pvt Ltd.
“At the same time, we have initiated our plans for using other FSSAI-approved ingredients that meet Starbucks global standards and enable us to continue offering our range of beverages,” it said.
“All of the imported globally standardised ingredients we serve in India, including those we are suspending, are safe and meet the safety standards in over 65 countries where Starbucks operates. All of these imported ingredients received the then applicable product testing and safety authorisations when they were imported into India,” the statement said.
The company said they were “diligently working” with the FSSAI to provide the “technical information relating to our pending ingredient applications that they have requested”.
“We are committed to complying with the regulations in every market we operate in,” it added.