Packets of Nestle's Maggi instant noodles are seen on display at a grocery store in Mumbai, India, June 4.(Reuters)
Singapore authorities have ordered local importers to temporarily suspend the sale of Nestle's Maggi noodles imported from India amid reports that high lead content was found in the popular instant snack.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority's decision comes after India banned the sale of the noodles for 15 days in Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu after high levels of lead were discovered in batches tested in New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
"A small amount" of Maggi brand instant noodles from India have been imported into Singapore, but Maggi oat products manufactured there have not been brought in Singapore, The Straits Times reported.
As a precautionary measure, the AVA has taken samples of the instant noodles for food safety tests and advised affected importers to withhold sales until tests are completed.
The AVA is testing samples of Maggi brand instant noodles manufactured in India and has advised affected importers to stop selling them until tests are complete.
The AVA added that food products that fail tests will not be allowed for sale.
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.
Five samples of masala were also having monosodium glutamate without proper label declaration which is an offence under the category of misbranding.