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Haven’t given a clean chit to Maggi: FSSAI

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New Delhi:  India’s food safety regulator on Wednesday said Nestle India has not been given a clean chit regarding its popular Maggi noodles and that its ban order of June 5 was still operative despite a certified lab in Karnataka reportedly finding the snack to be safe.

“It is clarified in the first instance that FSSAI has not given any clean chit regarding the safety of Maggi Noodles,” the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India said in a statement, reacting to reports that a laboratory in Mysore had found the samples to be safe.

The watchdog also said that Nestle India has not shared with it the details of the test reports from the UK and Singapore, which purportedly had said that samples of Maggi noodles tested in those countries were found to be safe for consumption.

The statement said that the Food Safety Department of Goa had drawn five samples of Maggi noodles pursuant to a May 25 communication issued by the watchdog to all safety commissioners across the country.

These samples, were initially sent for testing to the Food and Drugs Laboratory of Goa and upon examining the reports received on June 1, it was found that the permissible limit of lead had been wrongly taken 10 parts per million, against 2.5 parts per million, it said.

The results reported by the lab also did not specify the actual lead content in the samples after which clarifications were sought from the state’s food safety authority.

“The Food Safety Department of Goa subsequently sent one part of the said samples to the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore where the lead has been found to be within permissible limits,” it said.

“But a perusal of the test results from CFTRI, Mysore shows that the said samples have not been tested for MSG (mono-sodium glutamate),” it added.

“In any case, the test results of Goa samples had no bearing on the order dated 5th June, 2015 as the samples tested qua Goa were not assumed to be unsafe while passing the recall order by FSSAI. As such, the present test reports do not have any bearing on that order.”

The statement also sought to clarify that out of five units where Nestle was manufacturing Maggi noodles, only one at the Bicholim in Goa was catering to exports to eight countries. It also said four out of the five samples taken by Goa for testing were from this factory.

Asked for the response regarding the reports from Goa, a Nestle spokesperson said the company had only received information on the matter via media reports that a lab approved by the food safety authority had found Maggi noodles to be compliant with the standards.

“The matter is sub-judice and we cannot comment further,” the spokesperson added. The reference was to the ongoing hearing in the Bombay High Court.

Maggi noodles had been banned on June 5 after allegedly high amount of lead and MSG were found in the samples. Following that, Nestle withdrew all the variants of the noodle, while continuing to maintain that its products were safe.

(IANS)

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Food adulteration in India, the reason you need to be careful with what you eat

There is a good probability that a lot of what you eat is adulterated. Therefore, it becomes essential to cross check the purity of the things you consume

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Food adulteration in India and its consequences
Food adulteration in India has been highly rampant. Pixabay
  • Food adulteration has been highly rampant in India 
  • “Some of the most common adulterated foods are milk and milk products, atta, edible oils, cereals, condiments”
  • The case of food adulteration that took the country by storm was the case of Maggi Noodles, India’s most popular snack

New Delhi, August 1, 2017: The definition of food adulteration according to the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is, “The addition or subtraction of any substance to or from food so that the natural composition and quality of food substance is affected.”

Food adulteration has been highly rampant in India. India, on a usual basis, witnesses a number of cases of people getting affected by consuming adulterated food products.

According to FSSAI, “Some of the most common adulterated foods are milk and milk products, atta, edible oils, cereals, condiments, pulses, coffee, tea, confectionery, baking powder, vinegar, besan and curry powder.”

The case of food adulteration that took the country by storm was the case of the very loved, Maggi Noodles. Maggi Noodles was found to contain a higher than the permissible level of lead and MSG. The entire nation was shocked to know that India’s most popular snack is not safe for consumption. Nutritionists suggest that consumption of lead for a long period of time can have hazardous consequences on the body.

Also read: To eat or not to eat? Think before you eat food items from these brands.

“The Annual Public Laboratory Testing Report for 2014-15 brought out by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) says that of the 49,290 samples of food items it tested, 8,469, nearly one-fifth, were found adulterated or misbranded,” suggests a report in The Hindu.

The worst part is, despite the potential of disastrous consequences of adulteration, the government is very lenient in providing punishment for the crime. Even if the culprit is caught, the system isn’t strict enough and one can easily get away.

“The reason behind the increasing trend in food adulteration practices is the poor ethical framework and lack of values. Government laws have their limits, it is the values in people that automatically resist them to do unethical practices,” says Rahul Gupta who works for the Food Corporation of India.

“In regard to milk, the demand and supply gap, and the ease with which it can be handled is what makes it the softest target of adulteration,” he mentioned.

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Sections 272 and 273 of the Indian Penal Code deal with the offense of Adulteration of Food and Drink Intended for Sale entailing a punishment of six months imprisonment or payment of Rs. 1000 fine in case of a person adulterating some food or drink, as an attempt to make the food or drink noxious, intending to sell it, or knowing the likeliness of the same being sold as a food or drink.

There is a good probability that a lot of what you eat is adulterated. Therefore, it becomes essential to cross check the purity of the things you consume. The situation is, indeed grave and one needs to be watchful!

-by Samiksha Goel of Newsgram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Three tests clear Maggi: Nestle India

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New Delhi: Three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court have found lead content in 90 samples of Maggi instant noodles much below the permissible limits, a company statement said on Tuesday.

“We have received the test results from all three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court to test Maggi noodles samples. All 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by these laboratories are clear, with the lead much below the permissible limits,” Nestle India said in the statement.

“In compliance with the high court orders, we will now commence manufacture and will begin selling only after the newly manufactured products are also cleared by the three designated laboratories,” it added.

The company is hopeful about reintroducing Maggi noodles in the market at the earliest.

It said it had got conducted over 3,500 tests on samples, representing over 200 million packs, in both nationally as well as internationally accredited laboratories and all reports are clear.

Nestle India also reiterated its resolve to collaborate with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the apex food regulator in the country, and other stakeholders on the matter.

After a five-month ban on the two-minute noodles for alleged high lead and Monosodium Glutamate levels, the Indian arm of the Swiss giant Nestle announced in November a pact with Snapdeal for the online sale of the instant noodles and its re-introduction in 100 cities in the country.(IANS)

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Supreme Court orders fresh testing of Maggi noodles

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New Delhi: Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ordered a fresh testing of 16 samples of Nestle’s Maggi noodles.

The apex court yesterday sent a notice to the Centre seeking their response on the plea of Nestle India Ltd against the NCDRC’s order of testing for 16 more samples.

The government filed a Rs 640-crore suit against the noodle company for the unfair trade. Last week NCDRC had asked for 16 more samples for further testing and Nestle went to the Supreme Court against the apex court’s order.

While, Supreme Court sent a notice to the government, it also ordered a fresh testing giving Nestle India another jolt.

Maggi after bans in many states returned a month ago to the Indian markets.

The fast and easy to make noodle product did not lose the popularity even after the ban and consumers were waiting for its return.

Previously, Nestle India on 9 November said it had begun the roll-out of Maggi noodles in 100 cities, terming the five-month ban as “one of the biggest crises” it had faced in the 32-year history of the brand in the country. It also announced a pact with Snapdeal for online sales.

The return of Maggi Noodles on the auspicious eve of Deepawali and on the day of Dhanteras is a moment of celebration for all of us,” Nestle India chairman and managing director Suresh Narayanan said, announcing the re-launch, after it was taken off the shelves on June 5.

“The crisis we went through is a big one for Nestle India. But we were always confident about the quality and safety of Maggi noodles. It is an important brand for the company,” Narayanan told a round-table with journalists to announce the re-launch.

“The first to hit the shelves will be the masala variant, which will be available in single, twin, four and six packs. Other variants will follow later,” he said.

“Maggi has special relationships and strong emotional bonds with consumers across the country and I am confident our bonds will grow stronger,” he said. “Separately, Nestle India is pleased to partner with Snapdeal to roll-out online offers to mark this special occasion.”

On June 5, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had ordered a pan India ban on the company’s noodles on the ground that these were “unsafe and hazardous” for humans due to the presence of lead, allegedly beyond permissible limits.

After a five-month legal battle, Nestle announced that the masala version of Maggi noodles will hit the retail shelves as early as this month having cleared all tests ordered by the Bombay High Court at three accredited laboratories. (IANS)