India's food safety regulator on Monday asked officials across the country to draw samples of various noodles, pastas and macaroni products, including Top Ramen, Foodles and Wai Wai, to check compliance norms in the wake of Maggi controversy.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) also asked state food safety authorities to remove and destroy all the illegal food products which have not been assessed as per the product approval procedures.
"Various test results on Maggi and some similar products have raised serious health concerns. Thus, it would be advisable to draw regulatory samples for similar products for which approvals have been granted by the FSSAI," said FSSAI's chief executive officer YS Malik in the letter.
The FSSAI said it has issued conditional product approvals for the food products and the companies whose products have been listed for testing are Nestle India, ITC, Indo Nissin Food Ltd, GSK Consumer Helathcare, CG Foods India, Ruchi International and AA Nutrition Ltd.
The products include Indo Nissin Top Ramen Atta Masala, ITC's three variants of instant noodles and Yummy Chicken and Vegetarian noodles of AA Nutrition, Wai Wai noodles and Bhujiya Chicken snacks by CG Foods; Koka Instant Noodles from Ruchi International, Foodles by GSK Consumer Helathcare and Nestle's Maggi instant noodles with nine variants.
"Our brands meets all regulatory standards as listed by Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. We are not closed to any tests and will cooperate with authorities if required," said CG Foods CEO GP Sah.
State authorities have been asked to send their reports by June 19 and take action as per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act and Indian Penal Code if the food items were not found conforming to the permissible standards.
The FSSAI also said since safety of any other such products besides the ones listed by them in these categories has not been assessed as per the product approval procedures, they are unauthorised and cannot be used for human consumption.
The regulator's orders come after the Indian unit of the Swiss multinational Nestle SA recalled its two-minute snack Maggi from the markets after several states banned the instant food brand as tests showed them containing taste enhancer MSG (monosodium glutamate) and lead in excess of the permissible limits.
FSSAI has banned all variants of Maggi noodles terming them as "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.
The products under fresh scrutiny are: