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Nestle India Says Its Products Are Safe After New UP Test 'Confusion'

In tests conducted by a government lab in Uttar Pradesh, samples of Nestle's pasta product were found to have lead content beyond permissible limits

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Finding itself in a fresh row over its pasta product now, Nestle India on Friday said its products are safe to consume and it will work with the authorities to resolve the issue at the earliest.

In tests conducted by a government lab in Uttar Pradesh, samples of Nestle's pasta product were found to have lead content beyond permissible limits.

While maintaining that it has not received any formal notification from the authorities in UP or from FSSAI about such results, the company said, "We will work with authorities to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

"Maggi Pazzta is 100 per cent safe. The finished product and the raw materials used to make it undergo rigorous testing during every stage of the manufacturing process. We have seen media reports claiming that lead has been found in the product and we are investigating. We regret the confusion that these reports may be causing. They are safe to consume," a Nestle India spokesperson said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, a UP state government official had said that Pazzta samples collected from Nestle distributor Sriji Traders at Mau on June 10 were sent to a Lucknow-based government laboratory.

The National Food Analysis Laboratory, Lucknow found lead limit to be 6 PPM (parts per million), beyond the permissible limit of 2.5 PPM, Designated Officer at Food and Drug Administration Mau, Arvind Yadav, said.

"Nestle Maggi's food product Macroni Pasta had been taken in Mau in June (2015) in which the lead content, which is permissible at 2.5 PPM, has been found to be 5.984 PPM and it has been sent to the Food Commissioner and we are waiting for his directives," Yadav said.

He said the lead content found in the samples was beyond permissible limits.

"Against the permissible limit of 2.5 PPM (parts per million), the pasta samples were found to be carrying 5.9 PPM," the DM said. .

Earlier in June this year, Nestle had to take Maggi instant noodles off the shelves, after some states decided to ban it.

The move came after Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned Maggi instant noodles, terming them "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.

FSSAI had also said that Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer 'MSG' and ordered the company to submit compliance report on its orders.

Later, all samples of Maggi Noodles Masala were cleared by three food-testing labs as mandated by the Bombay High Court.

The tests were ordered by the court as it overturned the ban, calling it "arbitrary".

Maggi has been relaunched in 100 towns through 300-odd distributors and is being rolled out in a staggered manner across the country, except in eight states where it is still not allowed.