More Maggi samples sent for testing, Nestle challenges recall order

Nestle India Ltd has taken issue with an order from regional food inspectors in Uttar Pradesh to recall a batch of Maggi noodles on the grounds that it contained dangerous levels of lead.
Hindustan Times | By Manish Chandra Pandey, Lucknow
UPDATED ON MAY 22, 2015 08:32 AM IST

Food inspectors in Uttar Pradesh have sent fresh Maggi noodle samples for further testing as Nestle India took issue with an order to recall a batch of noodles on the grounds that it contained dangerous levels of lead.

The Food Safety and Drug Administration (FDA) in Uttar Pradesh said on Wednesday they had found dangerously-high lead content in a batch of the popular two-minute instant noodle brand Maggi, manufactured by Nestle India, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle SA. Local FDA officials said all the packets of instant noodles tested in the state-run laboratory were contaminated.

Nestle India said the batch of about 200,000 packets of noodles it was being asked to recall were made in February last year and had already reached their "best-before" date last November. It also said it was confident products from that batch were no longer on the market and it had not received any other order to recall noodles currently being sold.

“The company does not agree with the order and is filing the requisite representations with the authorities," it said in a statement on Thursday.

Read: After UP, Maharashtra FDA collects samples of Maggi noodles from 3 cities

But FDA officials told Hindustan Times random samples of the noodles had also been taken from Lucknow, Kanpur and other places in the state to ascertain if the high lead content in the batch they tested was an aberration.“We stand by our tests and findings. We are getting further tests conducted,” said an FDA official.

Nestle India said lead levels in Maggi noodles were within permissible limits. “We regularly monitor for lead as part of our stringent quality control processes, including testing by accredited laboratories. These tests have consistently shown lead levels in Maggi Noodles to be within permissible limits,” the company said in a statement.“We have submitted product samples to an independent accredited laboratory and will share the results with the authorities.”

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