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Temporary ban on Maggi noodles in Karnataka

Karnataka has joined the list of States that have temporarily banned the manufacture, stocking and sale of Maggi noodles after reports from other parts of the country revealed that the lead content in the popular snack was higher than the permissible limits.

Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader told presspersons here on Saturday that the Centre had sent a circular to all States to ban Maggi and Karnataka followed the suit.

In line with the circular, all four units of Nestle in Karnataka have been ordered to shut down or stop production and recall stocks from the market, he said.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had earlier directed Nestle India to withdraw variants of Maggi noodles found unsafe from the market and to stop the production and sale of the same.

The Minister said all supermarkets and shops had been ordered not to sell Maggi or exhibit them and that a case would be booked according to the Food Safety Act and action taken against those who violate it. Testing of samples of noodles manufactured by other firms has also been ordered to ensure safety standards.

Any decision on banning Maggi would be taken only after getting supporting reports and government is also looking into the safety standards followed by other brands of noodles, he said. “No decision will be taken blindly without any justification... We have sent about two dozen samples of Maggi to NABL-accredited private laboratories in the State. Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) lab in Mysuru had rejected our request for testing,” he said.

Cooked samples too

The government has decided to obtain a report on cooked Maggi samples also. “Once reports come, as per the system, we have decided to send it to CFTRI lab in Kolkata and from there we will get the clarity,” said the Minister.

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