US blocked Maggi noodles earlier this year

US blocked Maggi noodles earlier this year

The US Food and Drug Administration refused some batches of Maggi noodles produced by Nestle in India when importers attempted to bring them into the US via third parties in January this year.

Nestle, which has been engulfed in an Indian food safety scandal relating to its Maggi brand, said that the majority of packs were blocked by the FDA because they did not comply to US labelling requirements.

"Nearly all of the batches of Maggi products refused by the FDA appear to have been directly imported into the US by retailers who source the product from wholesalers in India. We understand that the vast majority were rejected because of regulatory inconsistencies related to product labelling. These products are intended for sale in India and the labels are therefore designed to comply with Indian regulations, which differ from US requirements," a spokesperson for the Swiss food giant told just-food.

While some product was declined on the basis of "hygiene concerns", Nestle said that this was likely the result of damage or spoilage during transportation.

"We are aware that a small number of the batches were refused by the FDA due to food hygiene concerns. We routinely test all of our products to ensure that they comply with all applicable food safety laws, as well as our own high standards of quality and safety before they leave our factories. From time to time, products may spoil or be damaged during shipping which could lead to them being rejected on the basis of hygiene," the spokesperson said.

Nestle India sells Maggi noodles to a third party importer in the US, the company does not bring product into the country via its local subsidiary, Nestle USA.

Indian food safety authorities have accused Nestle of selling "hazardous" noodles that contain elevated levels of lead as well as the ingredient MSG. Nestle has refuted these claims insisting that its product is "safe".

Elsewhere, Australia confirmed that it has blocked the import of Maggi noodles from India pending further investigation.