Friday saw one of the of the largest retailers in the country, Reliance Retail Limited, announce a temporary withdrawal of all instant noodle products from its shelves, all over the country. This action comes following the allegations against the Nestle product Maggi, over excessive quantity of lead and the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has now brought several other noodle brands under the scanner as well.
Seven other brands of noodles along with Maggi have fall under the radar of the Karnataka government, as it awaits more information on Nestle’s product from the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) laboratory in Kolkata. Samples from brands such as Knorr, Yipee (ITC), 1to3 from Surya, Nissin Cup Noodles, Doodles and Ching’s Secret are to be collected by the health department from Monday onwards to be sent for assessment of safety standards to private laboratories. These brands will be put through the same tests that Maggi was subjected to.
According to health department officers, the temporary ban on Maggi noodles is binding on all states as the directive of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a statutory body. The joint director for health (Food Safety), Shivakumar spoke of surprise checks that are being conducted across stores. It has been seen that prominent departmental stores, in compliance with the FSSAI orders, have taken Maggi noodles off their shelves. He also added that production of Maggie at the Nanjangud factory has been put to a halt as well.
Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has, under such conditions, contributed to ensuring assurance among customers by returning all noodle product packets to distribution centers with the label “Not For Sale”. This action has been made known to Designated Food Safety Officers.The company is said to run about 2621 stores in the country across 200 towns. The recall thus comes as a significant act in the retail market, with around 11 brands of instant noodles being subjected to this. The company stated its intention to entirely follow through with its three basic commitments to the public, which include the health and well-being of its customers, its unflinching commitment to have only products of the highest assurance, and to remain in complete and utter compliance of legal and regulatory processes across the country irrespective of individual jurisdictions.
Damodar Mall, CEO, Value Formats & Consumer Business, Reliance Retail, has allowed room for doubt in the whole controversy surrounding Nestle Maggi products, but nevertheless, has made clear the need for reassurance that is in clear demand from the public as well as valued stakeholders.
The Commissioner of Food Safety in Tamil Nadu is to be presented with a memorandum on the action taken. A request to share all significant findings from laboratories is to be made to other relevant authorities as well.
Reliance Retail has temporarily pulled out all noodle products from its stores across the country.