PUDUCHERRY: The territorial administration has initiated steps to examine the safety of Maggi noodles sold in shops here in the wake of serious concerns on food safety of the product being raised by various States across the country.
The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) of Puducherry government has taken up the exercise of randomly collecting samples of Maggi noodles from different stores across the city and sending them to a laboratory for testing for safety, Health Secretary and Commissioner of Food and Drugs V Candavelou told Express.
“Maggie samples drawn are being analysed locally and also being sent to CFTRI, Mysore for validation and advanced analysis,” he said. After the results come from National Accredited Laboratory, further course of action will be initiated. The results are expected within a couple of days, he said.
Despite the concerns, immediately a direction cannot be issued for withdrawal of the product from sale in the stores, he said. The batch of the products varies from State to State and it has to be examined, he said. This comes close on the heels of the Delhi government banning sales of Maggi noodles from its stores after it was found that lead and monosodium glutamate were present beyond permissible limit. The Delhi government’s findings come days after the Uttar Pradesh FDA raised red flag about Maggi noodles. Kerala, TN, Haryana, Maharashtra and West Bengal governments had already deployed officials to randomly collect Maggi samples of different batches and dates for testing the safety of their content.
“We have not received any orders from Central FDA authorities to recall Maggi noodle products from the market till now,” said Dhanraj. “We have, however, decided to take cognisance of the matter based on the media reports so far and initiate action.”
Already, Nilgiris store in Puducherry has stopped the sale following a nationwide ban by the parent company. The other stores still are having it on their stands for sale. At least 10 Indian States have either ordered the withdrawal of Maggi noodles from shops or are testing its samples, prior to taking action against the manufacturer, Nestle India Ltd. Future Group has decided to stop stocking Maggi in its store.
‘Fill Vacancies of Food inspectors’
Puducherry:The BJP Puducherry unit general secretary R V Saminathan has urged the administration to fill the vacancies of the food and drug inspectors in Puducherry at the earliest. He told Express that as the vacancies were not filled for many years, there was no proper checking of food items and drugs that were well past their expiry dates were sold. As a result, consumers in the UT are affected, he said. Also, fake drug manufacturing units are functioning in Puducherry, he charged.
CSE Hails Testing of edible goods
Puducherry: The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the food authorities’ initiative in testing processed food for contaminants like heavy metals. Responding to the issue, Chandra Bhushan, CSE’s Deputy Director General, said, “It’s an issue of public health and public good - hence, there is no room for any compromise on this issue. It’s great that for first time, processed food is being tested for contaminants like heavy metals by food safety authorities.”