With Swiss food giaammnt Nestle’s popular instant noodles Maggi coming under national scrutiny over high content of lead and mono-sodium glutamate (MSG), the state government has decided to look into the company’s unit at Tahliwal in Una district.
Besides, the government has also issued directions to food safety officials across the state to randomly lift Maggi samples from the market.
On Wednesday afternoon, the state government constituted a three-member team to visit the Nestle factory at the industrial town of Tahliwal. The team that comprises medical officer (MO) Dr Udit Kumar, designated officer (DO) LD Thakur and food safety officer Satish Thakur would also check details of additive in the noodles.
Officer on special duty (food safety) Surekha Chopra said the team would lift samples from the factory and also check product details for the past three years.
“Since we don’t have any set-up for sample testing within the state, we will send the samples to a laboratory in another state,” a government official, requesting anonymity, said.
He added the state was keeping a close watch on reports of samples lifted by other states, particularly those which could have been supplied from the Tahliwal unit.
Meanwhile, due to negative reports coming from other states, Maggi sale in the state has ostensibly declined. “We have a few regular Maggi customers, who have stopped buying the noodles,” Raj Kumar, a retailer in Sanjauli in Shimla, said.
State capital Shimla is a big market for the noodles, with majority of the population being youth, including school- and college-going population.
“There is no longer a high demand for Maggi. There were some sale points where the Maggi order remained always high. But over the past week, they have reported bleak response due to several reports appearing in the press and news channels,” Dev raj, manager of a wholesale agency, said.