Nestle India Ltd on Monday said lead levels in its instant noodles, Maggi, are within the limits specified by the food regulator, just hours after food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan told a press meet that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was testing Maggi samples collected from different states.

“We have also submitted samples of Maggi noodles from almost 600 product batches to an external laboratory for independent analysis and we tested samples from almost 1,000 batches at our accredited laboratory," Nestle said.

“These samples represent around 125 million (12.5 crore) packets. All the results of these internal and external tests show that lead levels are well within the limits specified by food regulations and that Maggi noodles are safe to eat," it said, adding that it will share the results with the government.

The results of the FSSAI tests are expected in two to three days.

Maggi came under the food regulator’s scanner after the Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) on 30 April reportedly found Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in a sample and asked Nestle to recall a batch produced in February 2014. MSG is generally added in packaged food as a flavour enhancer but it can cause headaches, chest pain and nausea in some people.

Consumer affairs additional secretary G. Gurucharan told the press meet addressed by Paswan that celebrities who endorse the brand may also be held liable if the advertisements are found to be misleading. However, he added, the government has not received any complaints on Maggi from consumers.

Last week, UP FSDA filed a case against Nestle India and five others while an advocate in the chief judicial magistrate’s court at Barabanki town filed a case against Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta for promoting Maggi, according to a PTI report on 30 May.

Meanwhile, the FSDA has also collected samples of ITC Ltd’s Yippee noodles from the Agra godown of an ITC distributor for tests.

Last month, Nestle India said the company, as a practice, collects all products from its distributors and retailers as they near the “best before date" of use.

The particular batch of 200,000 packs that the FSDA had asked Nestle to recall had reached the ‘best before date’ in November 2014, it said.

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