Uttarakhand, Gujarat, J&K and Nepal ban Maggi noodles
New Delhi, 5/6: Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday became the fourth Indian state to ban Maggi after Delhi, Uttarakhand and Gujarat. Nepal too has decided to impose a ban on importing and selling of Maggi in its market for an undefined period. The Gujarat Government on Thursday banned the sale of Nestle’s instant noodle brand ‘Maggi’ for a month in the state after the product failed the food safety test.
The government has also asked the company to withdraw all its stock of Maggi from the state.
Apart from Maggi, the state government also tested one sample each of instant noodles of Sunfeast and S K Foods and has banned the latter for a month as high lead content of 4 PPM was found in it.
“Twenty seven samples collected from different parts of the state were tested by Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration. The test has shown that lead was present above the prescribed limit while Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) was also present,” Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel said.
Of the 27 samples, lead content in 14 of them 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, he said.
“Monosodium glutamate, which should not be present in the product, was found in all the samples tested. For these reasons, the government has banned the sale and distribution of Maggi noodles for one month in the state. The government has also informed Nestle to withdraw all its Maggi stock from Gujarat,” Patel said.
The minister also appealed to retailers not to sell Maggi and also asked consumers not to consume it.
He said the health department will conduct inspections across the state to enforce the ban and action will be taken against those selling the product in any part of the state.
Gujarat was the third state to ban Maggi after Delhi and Uttarakhand.
It has also banned noodle products of S K Foods. “Sample of Sunfeast passed the lead test, but traces of monosodium glutamate was found in it. We will test more samples of Sunfeast before taking any action on its instant noodle,” he said.
Uttarakhand has also banned Maggi, after tests on the product showed presence of Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a synthetic taste enhancer.
Jammu and Kashmir has also banned Maggi for one month.
Delhi government had imposed a ban on the sale of Maggi on Wednesday and state-owned retail outlets in Kerala also withdrew the product from their shelves.
Nepal bans import, sale of Maggi noodles
The Nepal government has decided to impose a ban on importing and selling of Indian noodle brand, Maggi, in its market for an undefined period.
With noodles being a very popular dish in the Himalayan nation, Maggi, along with other domestic noodles, is likely to face strong food quality checks, officials here said.
“Yes, we are putting a ban on importing and selling Maggi in Nepal following the controversy in India,” Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, secretary at the ministry of agriculture development, told IANS on Thursday.
He further added that his ministry was going to issue a public notice on Friday urging consumers to avoid eating Maggi following the controversy in India.
The noodles market in Nepal itself is quite big and some of the Nepali noodle brands like Wai Wai are popular in India too.
The ban will continue until further notice, Bhattarai said, adding that some samples have also also been sent to laboratory to confirm whether Maggi noodles in Nepal also contain excessive lead as has been reported in India.
The government has also urged the public not to consume Maggi and urged traders to return the product. The Department of Food Technology and Control of Nepal has already recommended to the government to ban sale of Indian noodles citing growing opposition in India and Nepal.
The department also summoned the chief distributor of Maggi and instructed him to stop selling the product. The government has also requested the International Food Safety Network (iFSN) to provide details about Maggi products.
There are also calls from consumer rights groups to test the quality of the ready-to-eat food as it can pose serious health hazard to the people.
The Maggi saga is likely to have ripple effects in the Nepali noodle market and over a dozen domestic brands have to undergo laboratory tests. The department of food quality said that once the testing of Maggi noodles was over, it would conduct further tests on Nepali noodles and foreign branded noodles.
Traders here say that after Wai Wai, Maggi is a popular brand in Nepal and Maggi soup is one of the most popular brands among soup items.