Over six months after Nestle’s popular instant noodle Maggi was banned in the country for higher than permissible levels of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG), the product returned to the shelves in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday.
With Himachal being among the last states to get the product back in the market, the first stock of Maggi was sold out within hours in the state capital, Shimla. “Maggi is yet to be reintroduced in the rural market as the available stock got exhausted in Shimla urban itself,” an agency employee said.
The state government had on November 27 permitted Nestle India to resume the production of the noodles at its Tahliwal plant in Una. State’s directorate of health safety and regulation had taken the call after consulting the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
“Production of Maggi was permitted at the Una-based plant a few days back. The company followed the directive of the Bombay high court before reintroducing the product in the market,” an official of the directorate, health safety and regulation, requesting anonymity, told HT.
While lifting the ban on Maggi in August, the Bombay high court had ordered that its samples first needed to clear laboratory tests at Jaipur, SAS Nagar and Hyderabad, before reaching shelves.
Having resumed production at its other plants, Nestle India, through a letter in October, had urged the Himachal Pradesh government to lift the ban on Maggi production at its Tahliwal unit, which was imposed in June.
Besides the Tahliwal unit, Maggi is also manufactured at Nestle’s units in Nanjangud, Karnataka; Moga, Punjab; Bicholim, Goa; and Pantnagar, Uttarakhand.