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Maggi aftermath: Noodle brand Top Ramen off shelves

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

What began as a routine inspection of the two minute noodles, has now snowballed into a storm wiping off another major brand from the consumer shelves.

Indo Nissin Foods Ltd. on Monday announced the withdrawing of its instant noodles brand Top Ramen from the market on the direction of regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

“We are withdrawing our instant noodles Top Ramen from the market as our application for regulator approval is still pending with the FSSAI,” a company official told IANS.

The city-based company sought clarification from the regulator on its June 8 advisory on product safety testing of all instant noodles after it ordered Nestle India on June 5 to recall all nine approved variants of Maggi noodles.

“The regulator has directed us to withdraw our product till it (FSSAI) clarifies to our query and gives approval to Top Ramen noodles,” the official added.

After Maggi withdrew its varieties of noodles, leading FMCG major Hindustan Unilever also pulled out its Knorr instant noodles brand over safety issues.

Global cafe chain Starbucks has also stopped using ingredients not approved by the regulator in certain products served at its India outlets.

Indo Nissin Foods Ltd. managing director Gautam Sharma said the company tested its noodles after safety concerns of ready-made food products became a public issue.

“Testing of our noodles at accredited labs in the city showed that lead levels in two cases was slightly higher in their tastemaker,” Sharma admitted.

The heightened activity from FMCG companies comes after the central regulatory body came out with the advisory on product safety testing of all instant noodle products in India on June 8.

Tests in certain states had revealed the presence of lead beyond permissible limits and taste enhancer Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in Maggi noodles.

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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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Patanjali says its noodles followed food safety norms

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New Delhi: Baba Ramdev promoted Patanjali on Wednesday said it has followed all the guidelines and regulations of the Food Safety and Regulatory Authority of India (FSSAI) in the launch of its “atta” instant noodles and other products.

“We have followed all rules and guidelines by the FSSAI. We have not disobeyed any of them,” said S.K. Tijarawala, spokesperson for Patanjali.

“The FSSAI has given us the licence of re-labelling under pasta category and on the basis of which we have given the contract to various companies to make noodles (for us),” he said in the statement.

The remarks come in the wake of a top FSSAI official claiming that Patanjali’s instant noodles was launched without its product approval. The authority’s chairman Ashish Bahuguna has also been quoted as saying that product approval for pasta cannot apply to noodles.

The chairman, however, was not available for comment. Following persistent calls, his office told an IANS correspondent that the chairman “cannot respond to individual queries” and that he had said what he wanted to.

The authority did not issue a statement either. But a set of questions was nevertheless forwarded over e-mail to the chairman’s office on the subject.

Tijarawala said Patanjali had taken a product licence for pasta under the “central category” and that noodles, accordingly, fell under that.

Forwarding some documents to IANS purportedly from the food safety authority Tijarawala alluded that by virtue of Licence Number 10014012000266, renewed on October 15 this year and valid till February 21, 2019, a “modified licence” was also issued.

He said the pasta sold by Patanjali has already secured the modified licence; this also gave it the right to manufacture noodles as it was only a variant.

Patanjali had formally launched its whole wheat instant noodles on Monday.

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Maggi noodles safe, lab test results all clear: Nestle

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Mumbai: Multinational food giant Nestle India announced here on Friday that 100 percent of the samples tested in three laboratories were found clear and Maggi noodles are safe.

In a statement here on Friday, Nestle said the test results have been received from all three labs mandated by the Bombay High Court recently to test Maggi noodles samples.

“All the 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by three laboratories are clear with lead much below the permissible limits,” the company statement added.

(IANS)