Chennai

Maggi back, flies off the shelf in no time

The single-serving packet, which looks much like it did earlier, has a manufacturing date of November 2015.— Photo: V. Ganesan

The single-serving packet, which looks much like it did earlier, has a manufacturing date of November 2015.— Photo: V. Ganesan  

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Supermarkets and stores began stocking the product some days ago and the employees say the packets are flying off the shelves.

Fans of Maggi in the city have an instant source of happiness as the noodles brand is back in the city.

Supermarkets and stores began stocking the product some days ago and the employees say the packets are flying off the shelves.

At one store in Nungambakkam, the 15 packets that had been stocked on Friday disappeared in a day, most bought by a single customer, staff said. A supermarket at Egmore too reported that the noodles had been selling rapidly since their re-entry earlier this week. Another one at Kilpauk had well-stocked shelves with packets of single servings and four and six-packs. However, as of now, only the ‘Maggi Masala’ variant seemed available.

The single-serving packet, which looks much like it did earlier, has a manufacturing date of November 2015 and a message on the front that says: “Our commitment to goodness you can always trust. With quality ingredients.” Vishnu Prasad, who works as a product consultant in the city, and is delighted at the re-launch, said he had bought seven of the single packets and three of the four-packs of the noodles as soon as they became available at a store near him. “My first introduction to noodles was Maggi, and when I was in college, nearly every meal was Maggi. Every time I took a flight I ate at the Maggi counter before boarding. I missed it when it was banned — I did not try any other noodle brand,” he said.

Nestle India, which manufactures the product, had re-launched Maggi noodles on November 9 and commenced sales in several parts of the country after tests — as mandated by the Bombay High Court — had come back clear with lead below the permissible limits. However, the snack was not initially available in Tamil Nadu.

Nestle had also tied up with online portal Snapdeal for home delivery of the noodles, but this service too was not available in Chennai at first, going by tweets. On November 17 and 18, Snapdeal_Help, the official support handle of the portal, had tweeted to two customers who asked about Maggi in Chennai, replying: “Sorry, Maggi is not available in Chennai as of now’ and ‘Maggi has still not been cleared by government, thus it’s not available’. But as of Sunday, delivery to Chennai pin codes was available on the portal. Bigbasket.com, an online grocery store, however, displayed Maggi noodles as ‘out of stock.’

Senior food safety officials said there was no issue with the sale of the noodles as this was a newly manufactured, fresh product. “The banned product was withdrawn and new products have come in. And so, the ban does not apply anymore. In any case, we are going to take a few samples of the new product and test the tastemaker,” an official said.

Another official said the company had intimated the Food Safety Department before commencing sales. “By next week, we will take a few samples for tests. The ban on the old product was only for three months and it expired in September,” he said. On Reliance noodles, which had also been banned in June by the government, he said test reports said they were safe, but the product had not yet been re-launched.

Almost six months later, it's feel-good time for Maggi

April 2015: Food safety and drug administration in Uttar Pradesh says high lead content found in routine tests of Maggi noodles, asks Nestle India to recall a batch

May 2015: Controversy erupts as other States begin testing of Maggi noodles; labelling on packets of ‘no added MSG’ also disputed

May 29: Taking “serious” note of quality issues related to Maggi, the government asks the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to look into the matter

June 4: Tamil Nadu government bans the manufacture, stocking and sale of Maggi noodles and three other brands — Wai Wai Xpress Noodles, Reliance Select Instant Noodles, and Smith and Jones Chicken Masala Noodles — for three months, on the grounds that the products contained unacceptable levels of lead — higher than the mandated limit of 2.5 parts per million

June 5: The FSSAI had asked Nestle India to withdraw nine variants of its noodles from the market, stating that they were “unsafe and hazardous for human consumption”

June 5: Nestle India withdraws Maggi noodles in the country

June 8: Commissioners of food safety of all States are asked to draw samples and test other brands of instant noodles and pastas, including Nestle India’s Pazzta and recall and remove products that have not been approved

August 13: Bombay High Court sets aside ban on Maggi noodles; orders Nestle India to conduct fresh tests on the product

October 16: Nestle India announces that all 90 samples covering six variants tested by three labs mandated by the Bombay High Court are clear with lead below permissible limits, manufacturing will commence and sales will begin after newly manufactured products are also cleared

November 4: Nestle India announces that samples of newly manufactured Maggi noodles are also cleared by labs

November 9: Roll out of newly manufactured Maggi noodles begins.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:38:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/maggi-back-flies-off-the-shelf-in-no-time/article7906969.ece

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