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Nestle India's Maggi Failed Sample Tests in Uttar Pradesh, Results Show 1.85 Percent of Ash Content

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March 10
9:32 AM 2016

Food safety authorities in Uttar Pradesh, India, claimed that Nestle's Maggi noodles products were sub-standard. The claim was stated after a series of tests of fresh samples conducted by the state authorities, but the accusation was strongly denied by Nestle.

According to the Economic Times, the Indian food safety officials claimed that the test found 1.85 percent of ash content in Maggi Masala. The percentage is higher than the limit of 1 percent permissible by the regulations. The tests used samples of the product collected from Safedabad in Barabanki district, and it was conducted by a Lucknow-based state-owned lab.

District Chief Food Safety Officer Manoj Kumar was the one announcing the claim based on the tests. He described the products, as the samples represent them, as sub-standard. He also said that the officials would be sending notices to both the retailer and the company. And if they are dissatisfied with the report, they can conduct another test or send it to a referral lab at their own expense.

Kumar also explained that he expects the retailer and the company to send their applications to the officials regarding that matter. He said, if no application was received within a month, the case would be lodged in the court of the additional district magistrate. If that happens, the company could face a penalty of up to Rs.5 lakh for the case.

Nestle, on the other hand, strongly denied the accusations, noting that the claim was based on a wrongful standard. The company's representation in India said, as quoted by Business Insider, "Maggi noodles is 100 percent safe for consumption. It is apparent from media reports that standards for 'macaroni products' are being applied for  'instant noodles with seasoning' which is erroneous and misleading."

The Swiss food company then stressed the importance of quality and safety for them. "We categorically reiterate that testing of instant noodles against norms set for macaroni products will reflect in incorrect results and wrong interpretations. The quality and safety of our products are non-negotiable priorities for us," the company stated.

India reported that last year, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have also conducted similar sample tests on the product, after many state governments banned it. Nestle Maggi has been facing strong food quality checks in India, leading the Nepal government to impose a ban on the noodles. It's also noted that although the ban on Maggi was lifted, the instant noodles were not gaining ground in markets again.

A series of tests conducted by the Uttar Pradesh food safety authority showed that Nestle's Maggi contained a percentage of ash more than permitted. The company responded with a statement, noting that the authorities have been using the wrong standard to evaluate their product and that the instant noodles are safe to consume. 

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