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After Maggi, other fast good products under govt's scanner

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NEW DELHI: After axing Nestle’s Maggi, the government has ordered quality testing for noodles, pasta and macaroni brands manufactured by seven other companies including Nestle, ITC and GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) amongst others across the country to check for health hazards.





The 32 such brands listed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are Maggi, Top Ramen, Wai Wai, Yummy and Foodles.

It has directed immediate recall of all other such instant food products, which did not have any product approval and were being sold in the market in an ‘unauthorised and illegal manner.





In its order for quality testing by all states and union territories, FSSAI said, "Various test results on Maggi and some other similar products have raised serious health concerns" and therefore it was necessary to test other similar products.





"It would be advisable to draw regulatory samples for similar products for which product approvals have been granted by FSSAI," it said, while asking the samples to be sent to the authorised labs for testing.





"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," the food regulator said.

All states and Union Territories have been asked to submit their reports by 19 June.

"You are advised to ensure that such products are recalled, removed from the market and destroyed," FSSAI CEO YS Malik said in a circular to the Commissioners of Food Safety of all States and UTs.





In the circular, the FSSAI has also listed out the detailed parameters on which such tests would need to be conducted for noodles, pastas and macaroni with tastemaker of all makes and brands present in the market.





Cakes and masala or tastemaker would need to be tested separately, Malik said.





The circular follows FSSAI order on Friday for recall of all variants of Nestle India's Maggi noodles terming them as "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.





Nestle India recalled Maggi from the markets after several states banned the famous '2-minute' instant food brand as tests showed that it contained taste enhancer MSG (Monosodium glutamate) and lead in excess of the permissible limits. 





Companies under the scanner also include Indo Nissin Food Ltd, CG Foods India, Ruchi International and AA Nutrition Ltd.



The products to be tested include Wai Wai noodles and bhujiya chicken snacks by CG Foods; Koka instant noodles from Ruchi International and Foodles by GSK Consumer Healthcare.





Nestle's Maggi instant noodles with nine variants as well as four variants of "Maggi Nutilicious Pazzta with tastemakers" would also be tested.





Besides general parameters like test for preservatives and synthetic colours, the food regulator has asked all the state food safety commissioners 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.

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