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UK gives clean chit to Maggi

Sixth country to Okay the instant noodle in the last one month - after Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam

Arnab Dutta  |  New Delhi 

Bringing yet another relief to Nestle, Food Standards Agency of the United Kingdom (UK FSA) today declared Maggi noodles to be safe for consumption. The food safety regulator, after conducting tests on 900 samples of various Maggi noodle variants, found “levels of lead to be well within EU (European Union) permissible levels”. Level of lead present in Maggi noodles produced in India and sold in UK “would not be a concern to consumers”, FSA said in an emailed statement.

Although Nestle informed the FSA that it only import ‘masala flavour’ of the instant noodle from India. The FSA tested all flavours of the instant noodle “as a precaution”. Earlier, the regulator asked Indian authorities for results and batches of Maggi noodles tested in India “via European Commission channels” - a FSA spokesperson told Business Standard.

Nestle India welcomed the FSA order saying: “We note that the UK Food Standards Agency cleared MAGGI noodles after taking 900 samples for testing. Their finding that ‘results from testing samples of Maggi Noodles in the UK have all found that levels of lead in the product is well within EU permissible levels and would not be a concern to consumers’ comes after regulatory authorities in other countries including Singapore, Australia and New Zealand also cleared the product.”

In the past 20 days, five other countries have cleared Maggi noodles manufactured in India and sold in their territory. While, Singapore found the instant noodle to be safe for consumption, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam followed the suit. Maggi noodles are exported by Nestle India and its third party venders to UK, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and Kenya. Independent traders sell the instant noodle to Hong Kong, UAE and some other countries with significant Indian origin populations.

While many of the major markets for the India-made noodles have already found the product to be safe. Nestle India is yet to receive green signal from two of the major North American countries – USA and Canada. Food safety authorities of both the countries ordered tests after Indian authority ordered a recall of Maggi noodles on 5th June. Earlier, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had collected 19 different flavours of Maggi brand noodle products for analysis, belonging to “various lots and Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) to allow for a reasonable cross-section of products currently on the market”, Tammy Jarbeau from CFIA told Business Standard.

Apart from UK FSA, tests were carried out by local authorities in UK. The FSA also asked Nestlé to provide it with test results from its own samples. “All showed levels of lead to be well within EU permissible levels”, the statement read.

First Published: Thu, July 02 2015. 00:44 IST