Nestle India early on Friday said it was withdrawing Maggi noodles in the country amid nation-wide scrutiny over more-than-permissible limits of lead, but continued to maintain it was safe and that it would be back on store shelves soon.
Delhi government banned Maggi noodles for 15 days on Wednesday, after lab reports of its samples tested positive for higher-than-permissible levels of some substances. After Delhi, more states - Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Tamil Nadu announced a ban on the sale and storage of Nestle's Maggi after test reports found that the noodles were unsafe for consumption
The Delhi government statement said samples of the noodles were found to contain lead in amounts exceeding prescribed limits. "Last week, a total of 13 samples of Maggi noodles were lifted and on test/analysis of the same it was found that in case of masala (tastemaker) part of the Maggi noodles, 10 masala samples were found unsafe having lead exceeding the prescribed limits.
The prescribed maximum limit of lead is 2.5 ppm," the Delhi government statement said. Stating that "five samples of masala were also having monosodium glutamate without proper label declaration", the government said it falls "under the category of misbranding".
This follows a recall order for a particular batch of the noodle brand by the Uttar Pradesh Food and Drugs Authority in April this year, after allegations that its samples were found to have higher-than-permissible levels of lead.
Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit endorsing Maggi noodles
Widening its probe into alleged lapses of food safety standards in Maggi noodles, the government said it is testing samples from all states and strict action will be taken for any violation, including against brand ambassadors of the famous brand of Nestle.
Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta, brand ambassdors of Maggi, are facing the heat with a Muzaffarpur court in Bihar today ordering registration of FIR against them on a complaint of sale of harmful Maggi noodles.
The Union Food and Consumer Affairs minister said that no leniency would be shown against those indulging in manufacture and promotion of sale of life-saving items and harmful food products.
Watch Video: Amitabh Bachchan endorsing Maggi
Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, met officials of Nestle and said they assured her that there would be no compromise on the quality of the popular snack which is under scanner.
Watch Video: Madhuri Dixit in Maggi ad
Earlier on Tuesday, in a statement, Nestle had said the company regularly monitors all its raw material for lead, including testing by accredited laboratories which have consistently shown levels in Maggi noodles to be within permissible limits.
With consumers wary of Maggi noodles, the sale of this popular snack which has been a part of the Indian palette for over 25 years, has taken a hit.
Twitterati react to Maggi controversy
Man, I have so many cool memories about Maggi. I still remember Harbhajan telling Symonds, "Teri Maggi".
So now boys will sleep hungry and most girls will remove cooking from their hobby list #MaggiBan #MaggiInASoup #Maggi #MaggiMuddle
Suing @MadhuriDixit in #Maggi / Nestle fiasco is like blaming makers of Land Cruiser car for the accident done by Salman. #MaggiBan
The most daring act right now is to wear an "I love Bombay" tshirt, sitting on a footpath while having a bowl of Maggi.
If you're stupid enough to eat Maggi just because Preity Zinta, Madhuri Dixit or Amitabh Bachchan told you to, you should be in jail too.
#Maggi must be wondering, "What lead to this controversy?" #MaggiInASoup
Buy beef - get put behind bars.
Buy Maggi - you can make the bars yourself.
The Bad Doctor
Maggi has lead. That's good, isn't it? In case there's nuclear war, lead will protect you from radiation. Nobel prize to Maggi, I say
Mistress of Vices
I have SEVEN packets of #Maggi in my larder at home. Wondering if I should sell it on @Quikr!!! :-P