New Delhi: Kerala has ordered a pullout of Maggi noodles from government-run outlets and the Delhi government has said samples that it tested were found "unsafe," amid a country-wide scrutiny of the product for high content of lead and monosodium glutamate or MSG, a taste enhancer.
However, Goa's Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has said that the samples it tested were found to be safe for human consumption. It also said that the samples tested negative for Monosodium Glutamate or MSG and lead content.
But the Delhi government said high lead levels were detected in 10 out of 13 packets of Maggi noodles tested from around the National Capital Region. It has decided to initiate a case against the company "for sale of an unsafe product", a statement said, and also that it is considering a fine for "misbranding" as five Maggi noodle samples were found to contain MSG, without no declaration on the label.
Tomorrow, the Delhi government has summoned officials of Nestle, the company which makes Maggi Noodles, to hear their side of the story and will consider further action after that meeting and after it receives a final reports on the tests.
The Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation said its outlets will temporarily stop the sale of Maggi noodles, till there is clarity on the quality of the product. Unsold stock, it said, will be returned to the company.
Several others states have ordered tests on the noodles too. In Bihar today, a court ordered that a First Information Report, or FIR, be registered against Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta, who have featured in Maggi noodle advertisements, on a petition filed by a lawyer.
Maggi noodles has been at the centre of controversy since laboratory tests ordered by food inspectors in Uttar Pradesh allegedly found eight times as much lead as permissible in a batch of Maggi noodles.
Nestle has said that independent tests have shown permissible levels of lead.
The Twitter handle Maggi India tweeted today, "We understand that consumers are concerned by reports that the authorities in India have found elevated levels of lead in a sample pack of MAGGI Masala Noodles. The sample came from a batch that had an expiry date of November 2014 and is therefore no longer in the market. We are fully cooperating with the authorities who are conducting further tests and we are awaiting their results."