Food Safety regulator orders Nestle to recall nine variants of Maggi noodles

Coming down heavily on Swiss giant Nestle, the central food safety regulator FSSAI on Friday ordered recall of all nine approved variants of Maggi instant noodles from the market, terming them “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) also said Nestle launched ‘Maggi Oats Masala Noodles’ without approval and ordered its recall, saying the company did not undertake risk and safety assessment for the product.

“Withdraw and recall all the nine approved variants of its Maggi Instant Noodles from the market having been found unsafe and hazardous for human consumption, and stop further production, processing, import, distribution and sale of the said product with immediate effect,” the FSSAI order said.

The FSSAI also said that Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered company to submit compliance report on its orders within three days.

“Withdraw and recall the food product, ‘Maggie Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker’ for which risk safety assessment has not been undertaken and product approval has not been granted,” the order said.

FSSAI also served a showcause notice to Nestle and asked it reply within 15 days as to why the product approval given to it on the nine variants should not be withdrawn.

“The company is further directed to submit a compliance report in this behalf within a period of three days and furnish progress reports on the recall process on a daily basis thereafter till the process is completed,” the order issued by Y S Malik Chief Executive Officer FSSAI said.

After Delhi, four more states — Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand — have banned the sale of Maggi noodles, as the popular instant snack came under mounting scrutiny over food safety concerns.

FSSAI said that Nestle had applied for product approval for Maggie Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker in July last year on which certain clarifications were sought by the food safety regulator on safety and risk assessment.

“What is disturbing to note is that the company had already released the said product in the market without completing the process of risk assessment and has been promoting its sales,” the order said.

The order termed this as “illegal” and a “serious violation” of FSS Act Rules and Regulations.

“In the absence of safety or risk assessment and grant of product approval of a food product covered under section 22 of the FSS Act, the company has acted in violation of law. The product cannot be allowed to be intended for human consumption and has to be withdrawn from the market forthwith, the order said.

“As already agreed by the company during the hearing in respect of the rectification of label and removal of ‘No added MSG’, the company is directed to comply with the related labelling regulations in this behalf forthwith,” the order further stated.

Madhya Pradesh, Bihar follow suit

Earlier on Friday, the Madhya Pradesh and Bihar governments have banned the sale of popular instant food Maggi noodles from Friday, as the popular instant snack came under mounting scrutiny over food safety concerns.

Bihar Food Safety Commissioner Anand Kishore said the Bihar government banned sale of Maggi for one month.

“Till it is proved that Maggi noodles are not harmful for the health, there will be a ban in the state on the sale of this noodle,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told reporters.

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to ban the sale of Maggi noodles after its samples failed laboratory tests.

The sale of Maggi noodles is already banned in Nepal, Delhi and four more states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand after concerns were raised over presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead beyond permissible levels in the product.

Mr. Chouhan said that the ban will continue as long as it is bad for health. Once it is clarified that it is fit for consumption, and then the state will take a fresh call on the issue, he added.

» In April, the food regulator of Uttar Pradesh, UP FDA had ordered recall of a batch of about 2 lakh packs of the Maggi instant noodles due to higher than permitted levels of lead and food additives.
» After Uttar Pradesh, 14 states conducted tests on samples of Maggi for food safety. Five states, including Delhi, have banned it.
» On May 29, taking a “serious” note of quality issues related to global giant Nestle’s famous noodle brand Maggi, the government asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to look into the matter. The FSSAI has collected more samples of Maggi from different states for testing.
» Meanwhile, Hindi actors Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta, who endorse Maggi were served legal notice on the claims made in the advertisement. A complaint was filed in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barabanki, on May 30, by lawyer Santosh Kumar Singh, saying that by endorsing Maggi the film stars have misled people. The Consumer Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary G Gurucharan says "brand ambassadors would be liable for action if advertisements are found to be misleading.”
» On May 30, Madhuri Dixit tweeted that she met officials of Nestle and the company has reassured that "they adhere to stringent testing for quality and safety and are working with the authorities closely.”
» The same day, the Food Safety and Drug Administration of the U.P. government filed a case against the manufacturing company, Nestle India Ltd., and five others, including the Barabanki store from where samples with excess lead were seized.
» The Uttarakhand Food Safety Department too collected samples of the noodle brand from the company’s plant at Pantnagar in the State. Confirming the presence of MSG, the state banned Maggi.
» Nestle India said it has got tested samples of the noodle brand in an external laboratory as well as in-house and the product has been found “safe to eat” with lead levels within the permissible levels for consumption. The company was, however, silent on presence of the taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG).
» Nestle India's stocks continued to slumpamid growing concerns about safety standards of its popular Maggi noodles. In a BSE filing, the company said it has not received any order from the central or any state FDA authority for recall of its Maggi noodles.
» State-owned retail outlets in Kerala and Delhi have banned the sale of Maggi. Leading retail chain Big Bazaar has also reportedly taken them off from its shelves.
» Army has issued advisory to its personnel asking them not to eat Maggi noodles and directed its canteens not to sell them till further orders.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 3:38:00 AM |

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