Patna, Jun 4: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said that the state government was investigating the Maggi noodles issue and action on it "will be taken on the basis of report of laboratory tests" done on samples.
"We are probing the Maggi issue. Samples have been sent for examination. Action will be taken on the basis of the report of laboratory tests," he told reporters on the sidelines of a book release function here.
The state government initiated a probe into the issue of Maggi instant noodles produced by Swiss food giant Nestle after reports from various states indicated that the product contained lead and chemical flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) more than the legally permissible levels.
The state Health Department, which also looks into the food safety aspect of products sold in the market, has so far collected 21 samples of the popular snack from different parts of Bihar and sent them to a private laboratory in Kolkata for tests.
"The samples were collected from shops and Maggi distributors in 12 districts including Patna, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur and Gaya. We focused on having different batch numbers of the product for the lab tests," Food Safety Officer (FSO) Mukesh Kashyap told PTI.
Kashyap said the samples were sealed by officials right at the shop or distributor's godowns and then dispatched to Kolkata.
He added that the lab reports will arrive by today evening and the state government will decide on the issue only after going through them.
Bihar has no laboratory at present which can conduct tests to trace harmful metals or chemicals like lead and MSG, and, therefore the samples are sent to Kolkata, Bhopal, New Delhi and other cities.