AVA: India-made Maggi noodles in S'pore safe

AVA: India-made Maggi noodles in S'pore safe
Packets of Maggi 2-Minute Noodles, manufactured by Nestle India Ltd., center, are arranged for a photograph at a general store in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Nestle, one of India's biggest processed food makers, slid to the lowest in a month after a complaint was filed in a local court over lead levels in its Maggi instant noodles.

MAGGI instant noodles from India are safe to eat. But retailers and consumers here are not about to celebrate the good news anytime soon.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Monday night it has informed Singapore importers that sale of the India-made Maggi noodles may resume. This comes after its food-safety tests found that the product does not pose risks to consumers.

AVA had advised importers last week to withhold sales while it ran laboratory tests, following concerns over higher-than-permissible levels of lead in the product.

It noted that Singapore has brought in "a small amount" of the brand's noodles produced in India.

However, stores in Little India that pulled the India-made noodles from their shelves late last week are not about to put the product back as yet.

"We'll wait and see, just to be safe," said Mrs Vijaya Ezhilan, 50, co-owner of Selvi Stores in Buffalo Road. Her customers are mainly Indian nationals. "Many customers are not going to buy the noodles anytime soon, because reports from India are saying that they are unsafe," she added.

Results from AVA's lab tests, which cover "a wide range of hazards associated with food", showed that Maggi noodles from India meet local food-safety standards.

The lab also sampled Maggi instant noodles from other countries that are available here, and revealed that these meet the food-safety requirements, too.

The tests were carried out following a temporary ban in India last Wednesday on the sale of the popular instant noodles after unsafe levels of lead were found in batches tested in New Delhi and in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

The country's food-safety regulator had termed the products as "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.

calyang@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 10, 2015.
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