Central food safety regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Monday ordered testing of various noodles, pasta and macaroni brands, including Top Ramen, Foodles and Wai Wai, manufactured by seven companies to check compliance of norms in the wake of Maggi controversy.
FSSAI has also asked for testing of four variants of “Maggi Nutilicious Pazzta with tastemakers”.
“Various test results on Maggi and some other similar products have raised serious health concerns. In view of the same, it would be advisable to draw regulatory samples for similar products for which product approvals have been granted by the FSSAI…These samples should be sent to the authorised labs for testing,” FSSAI CEO YS Malik said in letter to Commissioners of Food Safety in all states and UTs.
As per FSSAI order, the companies whose products have been listed for testing are Nestle India, ITC, Indo Nissin Food Ltd, GSK Consumer Helathcare, CG Foods India, Ruchi International and AA Nutrition Ltd.
The regulator has ordered the testing of products registered with it.
The products include Wai Wai noodles and bhujiya chicken snacks by CG Foods; Koka instant noodles from Ruchi International, Foodles by GSK Consumer Helathcare and Nestle’s Maggi instant noodles with nine variants.
Others in the list are Indo Nissin’s Top Ramen Aata Masala, ITC’s three variants of instant noodles and Yummy chicken and vegetarian noodles of AA Nutrition.
When contacted CG Foods CEO GP Sah said: “Our brands meets all regulatory standards as listed by Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. We are not closed to any tests and will cooperate with authorities if required.”
Comments from other companies could not be obtained immediately.
The development comes after the Indian unit of the Swiss multinational recalled Maggi from the markets after several states banned the famous ‘2-minute’ instant food brand as tests showed them containing taste enhancer MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) and lead in excess of the permissible limits.
Meanwhile, FSSAI on Friday banned all variants of Maggi noodles terming them as “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.
The regulator asked all States and UTs to “draw samples of the food products and take action as per provisions of FSS Act and other applicable laws (including IPC) qua the food items not found conforming to the applicable standards.”
FSSAI further said in the letter that “the safety of all other such products in these categories has not been assessed as per the Product Approval procedures. As such, the same are unauthorised and illegal and cannot be intended for human consumption”.
For such unauthorised products, States/UTs have been told to ensure that such products are recalled, removed from the market and destroyed.
Besides general parameters like test for preservatives and synthetic colours, the food regulator has asked all the state food safety commissioner to test for metal contaminants including lead, copper, arsenic and cadmium.
Tests for certain quality parameters and naturally occurring toxic substances would also be conducted by the States/UTs.