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Fresh trouble for Nestle: UP lab finds Maggi Pazzta sample with excess lead

Nestle claims it never got any notice from Lucknow lab, says its product ‘100% safe’

By: Express News Service | Mau/new Delhi |
November 28, 2015 3:30:42 am
Few stores got the shipment today in Mumbai. A man takes photographs of the relaunched Maggi noodles at Society stores in Lokhandwala, Andheri (W). (Source: Express photo) Nestle’s pasta products were found to be carrying lead beyond permissible limits in tests carried out at state-owned food testing laboratory in Lucknow.

Days after it relaunched its instant Maggi noodles, the Nestle India has landed in fresh trouble, with its pasta products —- sold under the brand name Maggi Pazzta —- found to be carrying lead beyond permissible limits in tests carried out at state-owned food testing laboratory in Lucknow. The company, however, said its products are safe to consume.

Pazzta samples collected from Nestle distributor – Sriji Traders – in Mau on June 10, were sent to a government food testing laboratory in Lucknow, said Arvind Yadav, designated officer at food and drug administration (FDA), Mau.

“The samples were taken from Mau and sent to National Food Analysis Laboratory, Lucknow. According to report received on September 2, the samples failed the tests. The standard limit is 2.5 PPM (parts per million) while it has been found to be 6 PPM (in the samples),” Yadav said.

The official said a letter informing the Nestle company sent at its Modinagar address a month ago “has come back here undelivered”. Yadav also showed the undelivered letter to media persons.

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The company, however, said that it has not received any formal notification from the authorities in UP or from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) about such results, but added that , “We will work with authorities to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

“Maggi Pazzta is 100 per cent safe. The finished product and the raw materials used to make it undergo rigorous testing during every stage of the manufacturing process. We have seen media reports claiming that lead has been found in the product and we are investigating. We regret the confusion that these reports may be causing. They are safe to consume,” a Nestle India spokesperson said in a statement.

However, FDA officer Yadav said, “On the basis of the report, this food product now comes under the ‘unsafe food category’.”

“The report has been sent to the FDA Commissioner (Lucknow) on October 12 for sanction to lodge a case and in case it is received, it will be filed in the court of the CJM here,” Yadav said.

The official, to questions, said, “It can also lead to banning the product”.
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivasatav said, “The sample, which has failed the test, is of June and we will take immediate action on the directives…we are in touch (with the authorities) on phone”.

In June, Nestle had to take Maggi noodles off the shelves after FSSAI banned the product terming it “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption. However, the Bombay High Court later ordered lifting of the ban and fresh tests, which the product cleared. Subsequently, the noodles were relaunched.

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