Live Larvae Allegedly Found in Nestle's Milk Powder in Tamil Nadu, More Tests On

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Samples of the milk powder, picked from across the city, are being tested.

Coimbatore:  Random samples of Nestle's milk formula for babies are being tested in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore after tests conducted by the food safety authorities allegedly found larvae in a pack. The fresh blow for the company comes as a countrywide scrutiny is being conducted into its popular product, Maggi noodles, for high content of lead and mono-sodium glutamate or MSG, a taste enhancer.

A Coimbatore resident, Prem Aananth, alleged that he had found larvae in a pack of Nestle NAN PRO 3 milk powder that he bought for his twin babies on April 14. One of the babies developed an allergic rash after drinking the milk, Prem Aananth alleged.   

"My client gave the sample to a government testing lab and when the lab report came, he approached the food safety authorities," said Sudish Kumar, his lawyer. "We are probing all legal avenues which can be used to deal with the company."

The tests conducted by the food safety authorities confirmed the presence of worms, said sources in the department. The test results declared the milk powder unfit for consumption.

Currently, samples of the milk powder, picked from across the city, are being tested. If those, too, are found to contain worms, the authorities will consider statewide tests and action against the company, sources said.

In a statement, Nestle said, "We have not been contacted by the consumer or the authorities in relation to this matter. We have in place strict food quality and safety procedures, including pest control and quality checks at the different stages of our manufacturing and storage process. Moreover, our manufacturing technology excludes the possibility of insects living and surviving in the sealed package in which this product is sold."

On Tuesday, Kerala ordered a pullout of Maggi noodles from government-run outlets. On Wdnesday, the Delhi government, after declaring the samples it tested as "unsafe", banned its sale in the national capital for 15 days.

Several other states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala are conducting tests on Maggi after food safety authorities in Uttar Pradesh found it to contain extremely high amounts of lead.

Amid the raging controversy, shares in Nestle dropped nearly 10 per cent in morning trade on Wednesday.

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