The UK agency said noodles met EU rules on lead

The UK agency said noodles met EU rules on lead

Maggi noodles collected for tests in the UK amid the claims over the safety of the product in India meet EU rules on lead, regulators in London said today (1 July).

The UK Food Standards Agency issued results of tests on around 900 samples of masala-flavoured noodles, which Nestle said is the only line it imports from India into the country.

"The FSA has now tested this flavour and others from the Maggi noodles range, as a precaution. As well as tests carried out by local authorities, the FSA has also asked Nestlé to provide it with test results from its own samples. All showed levels of lead to be well within EU permissible levels," the agency said.

The FSA announced plans to test samples on 5 June as the claims over the safety of Maggi noodles intensified in India.

Indian food safety officials insisted they had detected levels of lead in Maggi noodles that exceed prescribed limits. For its part, Nestle claims the noodles are safe and that its own independent tests found lead within allowable levels.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India banned the noodles, a move that came after a number of Indian states had introduced their own bans. The affair broke in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where local officials claimed to have detected lead above permissible levels and found MSG in the noodles during routine testing.

Nestle had already started to recall the products from the market before the nationwide ban was introduced, saying "unfounded concerns" had led to "an environment of confusion for the consumer".

Yesterday, the Bombay High Court said Nestle can continue exporting Maggi noodles made in India, although the ban on the sale of the product domestically remains in force.

The Bombay High Court issued its ruling at the latest hearing over the affair. Regulators had blocked the sale of the noodles within India but there had been no moves to block shipments overseas.

However, Nestle had reportedly sought clarification from the court as part of today's (30 June) hearing, the latest stage in the food giant's bid to get the Indian ban overturned.

In a statement, Nestle confirmed it is allowed to continue exports but added: "As the matter is sub-judice we cannot make any further comment on the case at this stage. We await the official order from the Hon’ble High Court."

The next hearing will be on 14 July.