Bahrain has temporarily banned the import and sale of Nestle's Maggi noodles from India.
Bahrain has temporarily banned the import and sale of Nestle's Maggi noodles from India, amid reports that the level of lead content in the popular instant snack in India was found to be above permissible limit.
The move follows a Health Ministry-ordered seizure of hundreds of packets of Maggi noodles, which reportedly found their way onto shop shelves in Bahrain through local traders.
"The Health Ministry has now ordered heightened vigilance at the country's ports to ensure that no more of the Indian-manufactured noodles enter Bahrain," Maryam Al Jalahma, primary care and public health assistant under-secretary was quoted as saying by Gulf Daily News.
"Action was immediately taken by health inspectors to withdraw Indian-origin Maggi noodles from shops. We collected close to 360 packets during random inspections conducted in various stores across the country.
"It was found that the products were imported directly from India or from other neighbouring regional markets in small quantities before the health scare," she said.
The decision comes after Maggi noodles, a popular brand of noodle manufactured in India, was banned in different Indian states after a high level of lead along with excessive amounts of taste enhancer such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) were detected in the noodle.
"Shopkeepers and retailers cannot import the Indian noodles as we have now notified inspectors at the ports to ban their entrance into the country," she said.
Lead content in 14 of 27 samples in India was found to be 2.8 PPM to 5 PPM (particle per million), which is above the prescribed limit of 2.5 PPM. Presence of excess lead is harmful for health.