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Retailers pull Maggi off shelves as state govts order probe on samples, ban sale

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Retailers pull Maggi off shelves as state govts order probe on samples, ban sale

Nestle’s Maggi noodles has been under severe countrywide scrutiny for high content of lead and mono-sodium glutamate (MSG). Many states like Gujarat, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, J&K and Himachal Pradesh have said they are testing the noodles.

Delhi has ordered tests on all brands of noodles while placing a 15-day ban on Maggi. The ministry has reportedly asked Nestle India to recall current stocks and make available fresh stock, which will be allowed on shelves only after proper checks.

The bans by Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir have come a day after Delhi became the first state to pull down the popular noodles brand from shelves. West Bengal, too, has ordered tests on Maggi.

The Army has already stopped the sale of Maggi in its canteens and has issued an advisory to soldiers to avoid it.

According to market reports, most retailers in Mumbai have decided to play safe, pulling Maggi off shelves. Big Bazaar is also said to have pulled off the noodles from its shelves. Maharashtra is expecting its test results on Friday.

In Kerala, however, tests by food safety officials under the State Health Ministry showed permissible levels of lead. Goa's Food and Drugs Administration, too, has reportedly said the samples it picked tested negative for MSG and lead.

Maggi noodles contributes over 20 per cent to Nestle's revenues in India and a ban on the product could cause a huge dent in the company's income.

Nestle India has said its tests show Maggi noodles is "safe to eat". It also said it has not received "any orders from any State/Centre FDA authorities to recall MAGGI Noodle products in the market except an order from the Uttar Pradesh FDA dated 30.04.2015 asking us to recall a batch of MAGGI Noodles manufactured in February, 2014.”

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