Amid clamour over the alleged lapses in food safety standards of instant noodles Maggi, Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda on Thursday said the government would take a final call only after analysing the report from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
"Meanwhile, the state governments have been told to lift samples of the noodles. We are waiting for the report and will hopefully take a final call on Maggi by Thursday night," Nadda said before leaving for New Delhi in the afternoon.
The union health ministry had set June 1 as the deadline for the states to submit reports of Maggi samples lifted for tests.
"Some states have banned Maggi, while others have given it a clean chit. But we will take a holistic view," Nadda said, while clarifying that samples of the other eatables in the market were also being checked in routine.
"Lifting samples of consumable products is a routine process for the health department. It's only when some samples fail or negative reports come that they make headlines," Nadda said.
Himachal government picks samples
The state health department on Thursday lifted nine samples of Maggi, including five from Hamirpur and four from Shimla. The samples have been sent to different laboratories for testing.
While a team constituted by the state government to look into Nestle's manufacturing unit in Tahliwal, Una, also visited the unit. The team comprises medical officer (MO) Dr Udit Kumar, designated officer (DO) LD Thakur and food safety officer Satish Thakur.
"We have lifted samples from different parts that are being tested in different laboratories within and outside the state," Vineet Chaudhary, additional chief secretary, health, told Hindustan Times.
"We expect the FSSAI to soon issue a clear advisory about Maggi products in the market. So far we don't have any directions on whether to ban it," he said.
Products from Una unit safe: Nestle to state govt
The Nestle management on Thursday wrote a four-page letter to the state government clarifying that the Maggi noodles being manufactured at its plant at Tahliwal in Una district were not sub-standard.
The letter included reports of samples tested within the in-house and outside laboratories. The company clarified that it had been following stringent manufacturing standards, and claimed that it had on its own collected 1,600 samples from its Tahliwal unit.