India

Nestle India says new tests find Maggi noodles safe

maggi noodles Image copyright AFP
Image caption Maggi noodles are hugely popular in India

Fresh tests mandated by an Indian court on Nestle's popular Maggi noodles have found them to be safe with levels of lead well below permissible limits, the company said in a statement.

Nestle had challenged a government ban on the noodles after some tests found lead levels beyond statutory limits.

The Swiss food multinational has always said its products are safe.

The instant noodles arrived in India in 1983 and can be found in corner shops across the country.

Nestle India said in a statement that it had received the test results from three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court in August.

The court had lifted the "arbitrary" ban on the noodles, but directed Nestle to "send five samples from each batch of Maggi [noodles] for testing to three labs and only if the lead is found to be lower than permitted will they start manufacturing and sale again".

The tests had found all 90 samples, covering six varieties, safe for consumption, the statement from Nestle India said.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned the popular noodles citing tests that deemed the instant noodles to contain "unsafe and hazardous" amounts of lead.

India separately sued Nestle for $100m (£64m) over "unfair trade practices".

The company said it "will now commence manufacture and will start selling [the noodles] only after the newly manufactured products are also cleared by the designated three laboratories".

The company, which has 80% of India's instant noodles market, has already destroyed 400 million packets of Maggi products.

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