New Delhi: After ordering the recall of Maggi noodles, the food safety watchdog on Monday said it will not only test the samples of other instant noodle brands, including the imported ones, but also extend such checks to pastas like macaroni.
The watchdog also said it was not considering action against Maggi brand ambassadors for now.
"Overseas and local manufacturers would be treated equally. More noodle brands including pasta and macaroni products will also start getting tested this week," Yudhvir Singh Malik, the chief executive of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), told IANS.
"As of now, we are not considering any action against the brand ambassadors associated with the Nestle's Maggi noodles," Malik added.
Following tests on some samples of Maggi, the watchdog on Friday had ordered the recall of all the nine variants of Maggi pan-India and had asked Nestle to halt its production and exports. It had also issued a similar order on Nestle's oats noodles and tastemaker.
While Nestle continued to contend that its noodles were safe for human and that the levels of lead were within permissible limits - as opposed to the findings of some tests that purportedly indicated otherwise - several states also became pro-active by issuing their own ban orders.
Malik also detailed the process involved in the recall of food products.
"Ideally, consumers should be able to return the product at the retail outlet and get their money back if they have the bill with them. It is also Nestle's responsibility to let the consumers return their products, if they have kept the bill with them," he said.
The regulator also plans to post a list of all approved noodle products on its website and advise the state authorities to test them. "We understand Delhi, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have already started testing other brands. We will list all the approved noodle products soon."
He further said that Nestle had been asked to give the regulator an update on compliance first after three days and then regularly until the end. "Because we understand that it could take 10 days or more, we will be taking regular progress reports from the company."
(Muhammad Zulqarnain Zulfi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)