The Maharashtra government has said it will decide on Friday whether Nestle’s Maggi noodles can be sold in the state, after it tests fresh samples collected from six cities and re-tests some old samples it collected last month.
The New Delhi and Kerala governments have already initiated action against the popular instant snack.
Maggi noodles could be in trouble in the state too, as sources in the state government said the samples collected by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) on May 22 may be contaminated. The FDA had collected these samples from Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur and sent them for testing to its lab. The results of these tests, according to FDA officials, were supposed to be out by May 25, but the FDA did not make the report public.
The state has now collected fresh samples from six more cities and is testing them for lead and Monosodium glutamate (MSG) levels.
Girish Bapat, the state food and civil supplies minister, confirmed the first tests were done. Bapat said only two of the total eight samples tested positive for lead, while the others were sent for a re-test.
“Yes, we had conducted those tests. But we have decided to test them again in the Central laboratory at Pune. As food standards are governed by Central laws, we thought it best to get them tested in a Central government laboratory,” Bapat said.
While Bapat refused to comment on reports of the first test, a senior source in the government said the first batch of samples were contaminated. “This is why, before making those reports public, we decided to test them again and confirm contamination,” the source said.
In a statement, Nestle India said it was cooperating with authorities and reiterated that Maggi noodles was safe to consume.