NEW DELHI: Following a nation-wide uproar, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Friday ordered Nestle India to withdraw and recall all the nine approved variants of Maggi instant noodles from markets across the country for containing hazardous elements and being unsafe for human consumption. The decision has come within days of various State governments banning the sale of the popular fast food.
Armed with the lab test results of Maggi conducted by various states, the FSSAI said, “It is clear from the reports that there is overwhelming evidence of the said food product being unsafe and hazardous for human consumption.”
With the central food safety regulator ordering withdrawal of nine approved variants of Maggi, the Union Health Ministry said it is of the “confirmed” opinion that the product failed to adhere to safety norms and assured that no compromise will be done on food safety. Union Health Minister JP Nadda said his ministry has received reports from all the states and, after assessing them, it has come to the conclusion that the nine variants of Maggi should be recalled. “I would like to assure people of our country that no compromise will be done as far as food safety and security is concerned. All measures will be taken and all levels of security and safety of food will be adhered to,” said Nadda.
The FSSAI has directed the company to stop further production, processing, import, distribution and sale. It also asked the company to comply with the labeling regulations and remove the “No added MSG” label and withdraw and recall the food product “Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker” and any other product for which risk assessment has not been undertaken and product approval granted. The FSSAI found the company guilty of three major violations of the food safety law — presence of lead in the product in excess of permissible limit of 2.5 parts per million; misleading labelling information on the package, which says “no added Monosodium Glutamate; and, release in the market of non-standardised brand — Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker — without risk assessment and grant of product approval.
“The company is directed to submit a compliance report in this regard within three days and furnish progress reports on the recall process on a daily basis thereafter till the process is completed,” said the order issued by Y S Malik, chief executive officer, FSSAI.