COIMBATORE: Amid the raging controversy over high lead content in Nestle’s ‘Maggi’ noodles, a sample of the company’s milk powder has been declared unsafe by the Tamil Nadu Food Safety Wing.
K Prem Ananth, a taxi driver from Puliakulam, Coimbatore, had purchased a 380 gm Nestle NAN PRO 3 carton, a milk powder for toddlers.
Prem Ananth had already fed one of his 18-month-old children with the baby formula and was mixing a separate batch for the other twin when he stumbled upon live larvae in the milk powder.
Two days later, the infant, who was fed the milk powder, allegedly developed skin allergy, and was admitted in a private paediatric care centre at Race Course here.
Following this, Prem Ananth registered a voice complaint with the Nestle customer support. The company then sent local area manager G Krishnaperumal to investigate the matter. Krishnaperumal offered to replace the product, which Prem Ananth refused. The representative then promised to test the powder at the company’s certified laboratory. Prem Ananth rejected this as well as he was not convinced that Nestle would conduct an impartial probe into the issue.
Meanwhile, a report from analysts at the Food Analysis Laboratory, Coimbatore, confirmed that the 380 gm sample contained 28 live larvae and 22 Sitophilus oryzae (rice weevils).
On April 29, Prem approached the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department (Food Safety Wing) in Coimbatore, and gave the samples for testing.
R Thenmozhi, a food analyst who examined the product, said in her report, a copy of which is with Express, that “the sample of MILK POWDER — Nestle NAN PRO 3 submitted for analysis does not conform to standards specified under Regulation 2.1.9(5) of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations as it contains live insects.”
R Kathiravan, designated food safety officer, confirmed the veracity of the report, but said the results cannot be used to classify all Nestle products as unsafe.
Prem Ananth has now filed a complaint with the Food Safety Cell in Coimbatore. When Express contacted the Nestle Head Office in Gurgaon, Haryana, public relations officer M Himanshu promised to look into the report, which has been sent by e-mail to its office. The company is yet to respond.
Test on maggi samples
After the TN Food Safety and Drug Administration ordered its officials to test samples of ‘Maggi’ noodles in the State, district authorities submitted their reports on Monday itself so that they can be sent to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.