New Delhi: The Delhi government on Wednesday banned Maggi noodles for 15 days, after samples of the noodles were found to contain more than the permissible quantity of lead.
Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the government has asked Maggi producer Nestle to recall all stocks of the noodle brand from the national capital.
"We have asked Nestle to take back all stocks of Maggi noodles from every store in the city. We are putting a 15-day ban on sale of Maggi noodles in the national capital. The ban will be in force from today (Wednesday) itself," Jain told media persons.
He said the ban was imposed as samples of Maggi noodles were found to contain more than the permissible quantity of lead -- which is 2.5 parts per million (ppm).
"Ten samples out of 13 were found unsafe after tests," he said.
Jain said some officials from Nestle met him and gave their explanation on the issue.
"They said the lead content in Maggi was within the permissible limit which we (Delhi government) did not find satisfactory and decided to ban its sale in Delhi for 15 days," the health minister said.
"Five samples of masala (taste-maker) were also found to contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) without proper label declaration which falls under the category of misbranding," he said.
Jain said that after 15 days, the city government would reassess the quality of Maggi noodles and would allow it to be sold in the city only if it is found satisfactory, pure and in accordance with the norms.
He said samples of noodles of other brands will also be sent for tests.
"We have issued orders for checking samples of noodles of other brands also. The samples of Maggi noodles were tested in laboratories of the Delhi government."
On whether action will be taken against Nestle officials, he said: "We will work according to the food adulteration law and will initiate a case in this connection."
The detailed and final report of the test/analysis was awaited and the government will decide on further action once it is received, he said.
"We will not tolerate any kind of adulteration in food items. We will take strict action against the adulterators," Jain added.
Last week, 13 samples of Maggi noodles were taken for test/analysis, and in case of the masala (taste-maker) part of the noodles, 10 masala samples were found to contain lead exceeding the prescribed limits.