New Delhi, June 3: After Delhi government decided to initiate a case against Nestle India after it found samples of Maggi noodles "unsafe" for consumption, now, Nestle's popular noodles brand Maggi is being taken off the shelves by Indian shops.
After tests revealed the snack contained unsafe levels of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG), popular retails chains such as Big Bazaar, Nilgiris and Easyday as well as government's Kendriya Bhandars have decided that Maggi will not be sold in their stores.
India's leading retailer Future Group which runs stores like Big Bazaar, Nilgiris and Easyday has decided to stop the sale of Maggi from its stores.
The decision by Delhi government against the Indian arm of Swiss multinational giant came after lab testing of samples of Maggi noodles was found to have lead exceeding the prescribed limits.
The government said officials of Nestle will be summoned in the next few days and that more action may follow including possible ban on the famous '2-minute' instant noodle after the final report of the lab testing was received.
"The detailed and final report of the test/analysis is awaited and the government has decided to take further strict action in the case once it is received," an official said.
According to officials, a total of 13 samples of masala (tastemaker) were lifted by authorities from various areas of the city last week out of which 10 samples were found unsafe having lead exceeding the prescribed limits. The prescribed maximum limit of lead is 2.5 ppm.
Also read: The Maggi controversy: What is MSG?
Five samples of masala were also having monosodium glutamate without proper label declaration which is an offence under the category of misbranding, they said.
The samples were lifted by the Food Safety Officers of the Health department after receiving a communication from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
State-run retail outlets in Kerala were ordered to withdraw these products and Karnataka and Haryana directed random lifting of this food item for scrutiny.
Kerala Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob's office said an order had been issued to temporarily stop the distribution of Maggi noodles from its retail outlets in the state forthwith till there is clarity on the safety issue.
The probe into alleged lapses of food safety standards has already been expanded to test Maggi noodle samples from across the country following detection of monosodium glutamate and lead in excess of the prescribed limit in the noodles.
However, Nestle India claimed it has got samples tested in an external laboratory as well as in-house and that the product was found "safe to eat".
In Karnataka, Health Minister UT Khader said that officials have been directed to randomly lift the samples of Maggi noodles from the manufacturing units and retail shops, across the state for laboratory testing.
Earlier, the Kerala government had ordered pullout of Maggi noodles from its retail outlets while samples of the product in Haryana were lifted for testing even as a Bihar court ordered that an FIR be filed against its brand ambassadors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta.
(With inputs from agencies)