NEW DELHI: Over 1,000 army and navy canteens have been asked to set aside existing stocks of the popular snack Maggi noodles until further orders.
The order comes in the wake of a controversy over the alleged presence of lead and taste-enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the noodles beyond permissible limits.
"The advisory is effective till further order," an Army official said.
A Navy official said a verbal advisory has been issued to all commanders and area managers to suspend the sale of Maggi in canteens "as of now".
Maggi is one of the most consumed food items among the army personnel who number over 13 lakh.
The union government has referred the Maggi issue to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to take appropriate action even as more states -- Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal -- lifted samples for laboratory testing.
Consumer cooperative society Kendriya Bhandar is withdrawing Maggi noodles from its 130 stores in and outside Delhi.
In the backdrop of safety concerns over Maggi noodles, the country-wide network of 1500 Central Police Canteens (CPCs) catering to central paramilitary personnel have already discontinued Nestle India's products after detecting alleged irregularities in their packaging.
Officials said Nestle India was "taken off" the empanelled list of brands of these facilities after a CPC canteen in Dehradun detected that the stickers displaying
manufacturing date of a particular children's supplement were allegedly tampered with.
"All Nestle products were barred from being listed on CPC network about two months ago.
The firm and its products are no long procured for these canteens that serve over 8 lakh central police personnel drawn from forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, SSB and NSG," a senior officer supervising the CPC network said.
The officer said some state police departments were also beings served through this network which comprises 119 master canteens and 1,373 subsidiary canteens across India.