Odisha govt orders for Maggi sample test

Bhubaneswar: Close on the heels of Uttar Pradesh government’s order to FMCG major Nestle India to recall the latter’s one of the favourite brand ‘Maggi’ noodles for having higher than permitted levels of lead and a food additive, the Odisha government today ordered for checking samples of the product.

“We have asked our Food Safety as well as designated officers to draw samples and send for laboratory test. After the test report comes, we will apprise the government about the percentage of all the ingredients in the sample,” Food Safety commissioner Babaji Charan Das said.

Media reports said the company may face more action as the Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (UPFDA) is testing more batches of Maggi after ordering recall of a batch of about 2 lakh packs of the instant noodles due to higher than permitted levels of lead and food additive.

The UPFDA last month asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles “which were manufactured in February 2014” after it found high levels of added monosodium glutamate (MSG), a taste enhancer, in the noodles and lead beyond permissible limits.

“As a precautionary measure, the UPFDA has picked up samples of three-four more batches in April this year for testing after the previous report came. The lab test results of those batches are still awaited,” a food officer said.

It has been established in the report that the presence of MSG in the product was 17.2 parts per million (ppm), which is beyond the tolerance level of 2.5 ppm.

Meanwhile, disputing the UPFDA claim, Nestle India said: “The company does not agree with the order and is filing the requisite representations with the authorities.”

It further added: “We are aware of reports that tests by the local authorities have detected monosodium glutamate (MSG) in a sample of Maggi noodles and that they are continuing their investigation. We have submitted product samples to an independent accredited laboratory and will share the results with the authorities.”

Media reports said while Uttar Pradesh, which tested the samples, is contemplating legal action against the company, Maharashtra and Gujarat have followed suit, sending samples for testing. The results are expected next week.