NEW DELHI: In more blows for Nestle India, Maggi noodles was today banned in Delhi for 15 days and Army personnel asked to avoid the popular instant snack while its sale was stopped in Big Bazaar outlets even as more states ordered testing of its samples.
As food safety concerns over the two-minute noodles rose, the Centre, in a first, filed a written complaint before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) against the Indian arm of the Swiss multinational for alleged violations of safety standards. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, against whom a Bihar court has ordered registration of an FIR after he was featured in their advertisments, said he will cooperate with "what the law says" though he hasn't received any notice in connection with the product that he "stopped promoting" two years ago. Actors Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta were also named in the FIR.
The Indian Army issued an advisory in the evening asking its personnel not to consume Maggi noodles and directed its canteen to set aside the existing stock till further orders. The Delhi Government said sale of Maggi noodles was banned in the national capital for 15 days as it found the snack "unsafe" for consumption even as it decided to carry out lab test of all other noodles.
The decision came after Delhi Health Department was not satisfied with explanation of Nestle India given to authorities on finding "lead beyond permissible limit" in the noodle samples lifted from across the city. "Government has put a ban on Maggi noodles for 15 days. We have asked Nestle India to withdraw Maggi stocks within 15 days. We will carry out lab testing of fresh stocks and a decision will be taken thereafter," Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain told reporters.
Jain said government will file a case against Nestle India in court as per provisions of the Food Adulteration Act and will "not compromise" on issues relating to health safety. As Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal joined several states in lifting Maggi noodle samples for laboratory tests, there was some good news for Nestle India from Maharashtra Kerala and Goa.
The Maharashtra government said there have been no negative reports about the samples tested by it so far while a Goa official said the samples drawn from state's markets did not have any ingredients which are harmful. A day after Kerala Government decided to temporarily stop sale of Maggi noodles from its retail outlets, test of samples of the instant food at a lab in Kochi has shown that lead content was below the permissible limit, a top food safety official said in Thiruvananthapuram.
The samples of Maggi noodles are being subjected to laboratory examination in several states following detection of monosodium glutamate and lead in excess of the prescribed limit in the noodles. Nestle India has claimed it has got samples tested in an external laboratory as well as in-house and that the product was found "safe to eat".
A Future Group spokesperson said that in the interest of consumer sentiment and concerns the retail major has taken Maggi noodles off the shelves from all its stores for the time being.
Gujarat to decide on ban on Maggi after sample reports come in:
The Gujarat Government would decide whether to ban the sale of instant noodles Maggi after getting sample reports from laboratories on June 4.
"We have collected several samples of Maggi from across the state and they are being tested at government laboratories at Bhuj, Vadodara and Rajkot," health minister Nitin Patel said here. "Government will receive the test reports tomorrow and decision will be taken on that basis," he said.
Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration had collected 39 samples yesterday. Commissioner of Food and Drug Control H G Koshia had said that a criminal case can be registered if the noodle is found to be unsafe for consumption.