Initially there were a number of reports suggesting that Food Inspector in the UP Food Safety & Drug Administration (UPFDA), VK Pandey’s routine checks led to one of the biggest revelations over food safety in India. However, another report from a leading English daily names another man Sanjay Singh, a 1998 batch food inspector.
Sanjay Singh claims that he did all the hard work for almost a year and eventually his boss, VK Pandey took the credit in bringing down Maggi. Pandey acknowledged Singh’s work in the investigation but he claims that it was he who took the initiative after reports started emerging about Maggi.
He lauded the entire department for backing him in his investigation and that without their help the truth about the instant food giant would not have known.
The Investigation Behind Maggi
- Sanjay Singh claims that after various media reports emerged that Maggi contained lead and Monosodium Glutamate, a taste enhancer, above the permissible level, they collected Maggi samples from Barabanki market on March 10, 2014.
- With FDA’s knowledge, the samples were sent to Gorakhpur lab for test.
- The tests showed the presence of high level of lead and MSG up to 17 PPM (Parts Per Million) whereas the permissible level was only 0.01 PPM to 2.5 PPM.
- Sanjay double checked it by sending it to a separate lab which also showed the same results.
- Nestle India was notified about the irregularities which they countered with the test results from their own lab.
- Nestle demanded that a fresh test be conducted at the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata, which is touted by Pandey as one of the best labs in the country.
- The Kolkata lab test also showed the same result of 17.2 PPM.
- Later, a case was registered under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 with a UP local court on May 30.
The punishment for the offence is imprisonment up to six months and a fine amounting up to Rs 1 Lakh. Though a major chunk of work is cited from Sanjay Singh, Pandey maintains that it was he ordered everything.