Nestlé’s noodles gets UK safety green light

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Maggie noodles received the all-clear from the FSA
Maggie noodles received the all-clear from the FSA

Related tags: Food standards agency

Nestlé’s Maggi noodles have received the all-clear from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), after a food safety crisis in India that is expected to cost the food giant millions of pounds.

Maggi noodles were banned in India last month, after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ruled the noodles were “unsafe and hazardous”.​ Some noodle packets contained “higher-than-allowed levels of lead”​ and Nestlé had failed to comply with the nation’s food safety laws, it said.

The food safety crisis sparked an investigation by the UK FSA, which confirmed yesterday (July 1) the noodles sold in the UK posed no food safety hazard.

“The FSA can confirm that results from testing samples of Maggi Noodles in the UK have all found that levels of lead in the product is well within EU permissible levels and would not be a concern to consumers,”​ it said in a statement.

Levels of lead

The agency said it tested the noodles​ as a precaution and that it had received assurances from Nestlé about its production methods. “Nestlé informed the FSA that the only variety of Maggi Noodles they import into the UK from India is the ‘masala flavour’,”​ it said.

“The FSA has now tested this flavour and others from the Maggi noodles range, as a precaution. As well as tests carried out by local authorities, the FSA has also asked Nestlé to provide it with test results from its own samples. All showed levels of lead to be well within EU permissible levels.”

About 900 samples were probed, sourced from Nestlé, local authorities and port authorities.

FSA verdict

“The FSA can confirm that results from testing samples of Maggi Noodles in the UK have all found that levels of lead in the product is well within EU permissible levels and would not be a concern to consumers.”

Damage worth billions of dollars

Consultants Brand Finance warned the crisis may cost the food firm more than £127M​ and brand damage worth billions of US dollars.

Before India’s food safety ban, the Maggi’s brand was valued at £1.54bn ($2.4bn) and ranked the noodles as the 23rd most valuable food brand in the world.

Brand Finance calculated Nestlé’s decision to destroy noodles valued at £32M combined with a damaged brand, would result in a reduced brand value of £1.41bn ($2.2bn).

“Any health concerns raised by a credible source such as the FSSAI will most certainly damage customer loyalty and consideration of a food brand,”​ said Brand Finance consultant David Haigh.

Meanwhile, Nestlé India has received permission from the Bombay High Court to restart exports of Maggie noodles but products would stay off the shelves​ in the country, our sister title FoodNavigatorAsia.com reported on Tuesday (June 30).

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FIXING "MSG LMIT" COULD BE HARDER THAN FIXING A ROCKET

Posted by Ajoy Daspurkayastha,

Rocket science may have extremely accurate mathematical calculations to propel a rocket in the sky as the rocket scientist like but fixing permissible limit for MSG(Mono Sodium Glutamate)in instant noodles , is a herculean task ---one of the toughest job on earth and Indian food regulators have done it reasonably well and worthy of praise.
32 years back I used to live in an Indian city of Faridabad, Haryana where I used to work as Product Development Manager in a Govt. of India undertaking Food Company.
The story goes like this.
Originally, I was from west Bengal. My Haryana-colleague when used to take me in his home and used to offer to drink a full glass of hot-milk . I could never digest that. My Haryana colleague could easily digest the full glass of hat-milk. None of us were lactose-intolerant. Investigate the genetic profile of people living in Haryana and investigate the genetic profile of people living in West Bengal. They are different and the capabilities of digestions for different foods and food additives are different too.
Now, please view/investigate this matter through the eyes of “Nutragenomics and the various related branches of food science and medical science ---interesting policy related data will be generated to help the food policy makers. The case is almost similar for food safety policy makers.
I can only say to you, things are extremely complex when multiplicity of factors related to fixing of food safety limits of different food additives/contaminants play their roles and this is especially true for the Countries having immigrants coming from various parts of the world.
In fine, it can be concluded without any hesitation that fixing safe limit for MSG for that matter in any country of the world could be extremely challenging and complex in non-harmonious popular belief in the world of food safety and food safety policy makers ---“What is true is also untrue for the same reason intended.”
Now,I heartily believe ,you must have understood why ,I mentioned that fixing limits for MSG is more complicated that fixing a rocket meant to propel a rocket in its designated route through accurate mathematical calculations.
Even though MAGGI failed to conform to Indian food law, it may conform to food laws of other countries. Every country's citizens' have different national average human body immunity levels with respect to different food additives/contaminants linked to country's national average genetic status in the science of "Nutragenomics and the human body related multiplicity of various branches of food and medical science”. Obviously it is a highly complex subject and only expert of experts can understand and contribute but great thinkers can easily think on those lines to protect the public health and safety.
Those aforesaid great thinkers are “Food Policy Makers”. Their job is to make a national food safety policy in such a manner that the country’s food law and regulations gets fully reflected enough to protect the public health and safety of the country’s citizens’ in question. According to me, this is one of the toughest job on earth today.
Example: A person living in China, Korea, Japan because of their genetic status and body immunity level can tolerate MSG more than an Indian.
A person living in Nagaland of India can probably tolerate more MSG in MAGGI than a person living in Delhi or, Uttar Pradesh.
Another example: Mercury in tuna can cause abortion to pregnant woman but the levels of mercury causing abortion to pregnant women will vary from different genetic status and body immunity levels of different countries’ women. Even for that matter, within the countries this scenario will vary.
Even though Codex Alimentarius Commission (Equivalent to Universal Food Safety/Law Commission) specifies ranges/limits for different contaminants/questionable food additives but country specific study is a must to protect the health and safety of the citizens of the country in question.

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Don't make me laugh

Posted by Dixon Knight,

The FSSAI a 'credible source'? Incredible more like.

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Don't make me laugh

Posted by Dixon Knight,

The FSSAI a 'credible source'? Incredible more like.

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