Nestle had barely had time to celebrate the return of Maggi on Indian shelves, when another of its products is in the dock. The UP government has raised concerns about the levels of lead in Pazzta, Nestle’s pasta brand.
Nestle questioned the validity of the laboratory tests conducted by the UP government at the Lucknow based Foods Analysis Laboratory, adding that the reports could not be relied upon.
According to a company spokesperson, “The media reports also mention that the tests have been conducted at National Foods Analysis Laboratory, Lucknow. The laboratory is not National Accreditation Board For Testing And Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited nor is notified by FSSAI. The results of the laboratories which are not accredited cannot be relied upon.”
The company learnt of these reports from the media and the claims are under investigation. Nestle reacted with “We have not received any formal notification from the authorities in UP or from the FSSAI about such test results,” he said adding: “We will work with the authorities to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
It was the UP Government’s allegations that the level of lead were beyond the permissible limits in Maggi Pazzta. A Pazzta sample was tested from Sriji Traders in Mau, a Nestle distributor, and the sample failed the test, according to Arvind Yadav, designated officer at food and drug administration, (FDA), Mau.
“The samples were taken from Mau and sent to National Food Analysis Laboratory, Lucknow. According to report received on September 2, the samples failed the tests. The standard limit is 2.5 PPM (parts per million) while it has been found to be 6 PPM (in the samples),” Yadav said.
The official said a letter informing the Nestle company sent at its Modinagar address a month ago “has come back here undelivered”. Yadav also showed the undelivered letter to media persons.
A Nestle spokesperson countered, “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.”