Nestle recalls ‘unsafe’ noodles

Nestle India has decided to take its popular brand of instant noodles off the country’s shelves after several Indian states banned it for allegedly containing unsafe levels of lead.

The company said in a statement on Friday that the trust of its consumers and the safety of products was its first priority, but added “Maggi noodles are completely safe and have been trusted in India for over 30 years”.

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Several Indian states, including Uttrakhand, New Delhi, Gujarat and Jammu-Kashmir, have either ordered the withdrawal of Maggi noodles from shops, or are carrying out further tests before taking action in conjunction with the federal government.

Nestle’s statement said Maggi noodles would be back on shop shelves as soon as the current situation is clarified.

Maggi sales have plunged in India since laboratory tests showed the noodles contained lead at levels far higher than legally allowed.

The tests also detected the chemical flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is not mentioned in the product’s list of ingredients.

Maggi noodles are a household name in India, and are a favourite with school and college students. 
The noodles are Nestle’s fastest-selling food item in India, clocking about 15 billion rupees ($A312.13 million) in sales annually.

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