NEW DELHI: After Delhi, three more states--Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand--today banned the sale of Maggi noodles, as the popular instant snack came under mounting scrutiny over food safety concerns.
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The Uttarakhand government banned the sale of Nestle's instant noodles for three months while in Gujarat the ban will be effective for one month after some samples of the food had failed lab tests, officials said in Dehradun and Gandhinagar.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the state government banned the sale for one month till the receipt of reports over the fitness of the fast food for human consumption.
The three states also ordered the noodle manufacturers Nestle India to immediately withdraw the stocks.
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are awaiting results of tests of samples of the noodles taken from the respective states before taking any action. Delhi had yesterday banned sale of the food item for 15 days.
Apart from Maggi, the Gujarat 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 while giving details of the lab tests of Maggi noodles.
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 J and K government in an order said that all the District Magistrates have been directed to impose complete ban on the sale of maggi products in the state.
"This restriction will, however, remain in force for a period of one month or till the test report of sampling to be conducted by the concerned government department/agency is received, whichever comes earlier," the order said.
In Uttarakhand, Principal Secretary Health Om Prakash told PTI that a decision to ban the sale of Maggi was taken late last night in public interest by the Food Security Department as 2 of the 300 odd samples of the food product failed laboratory tests.
The decision was prompted by the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the samples sent for laboratory tests to Rudrapur in Udhamsingh Nagar district, he said.
"As the matter concerns public health we lost no time in imposing a ban on the popular food product in Uttarakhand," he added.
However, no lead content was found in the samples tested, the official said, adding that out of the 300 samples sent to Rudrapur laboratory, test results of a majority of them are still awaited.