As state governments call for the product to be taken off shelves, and people bemoan the loss of their favourite snack, the worst hit by the mess are the workers at Nestle – parent company of the brand Maggi – who’ve just lost their jobs.
According to reports, nearly 1,100 contractual workers have been turned away from a Nestle India plant in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district, where Nestle employed mostly contractual workers. The production has been stalled indefinitely since the state banned the production and sale of Maggi noodles after a few samples of the product were tested positive for a beyond-permissible amount of MSG and lead.
Dharmendra, who hails from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh told Hindustan Times that his contractor had asked him and others to “sit at home” till further orders.
The fate of these workers now depends on the government decision to be taken based on further reports and Nestle’s plan of action in the coming days. Despite all the test results, the company has been reaffirming the safety of the noodles and would hope to be back on the shelves soon.
Among the states that have sent in the samples for testing, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu showed a considerably high level of lead in large samples. The results shown by Punjab, Kerala and Goa were inadequate and were returned.
The tests in Karnataka and West Bengal however were negative and the state has decided to not ban Maggi. Even though the FSSAI order to Nestle to withdraw the existing packets remains and applies throughout the country.