With reports of the Maggi noodles samples testing positive for higher-than-permissible levels of monosodium glutamate and lead has created concern among the consumers. Nonetheless, these concerns have hit sales of this popular snack with chains like Big Bazaar removing it from their shelves. Distributors and shopkeepers selling Maggi noodles in the National Capital Territory reported that the sales have dipped over the past week. Sales has taken a hit even in areas around offices, where makeshift stalls make Maggi noodles and pasta.
While Nestle has continued to maintain that its product was 'safe' for consumption, reports reveal that states and union territories like Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala have sent samples of Maggi noodles for testing. Amid such concerns, Nestle again sought to clear the air, saying that they were officially unaware of any action by state governments. Nestle said, "We have not received any official communication from the authorities so far. We are cooperating with the authorities who are conducting tests and awaiting their results."
This follows a recall order for a particular batch of Maggi noodles by the Uttar Pradesh Food and Drugs Authority in April this year, after allegations that its samples were found to have higher-than-permissible levels of lead.
Rameshwari Devi, a homemaker in Noida, said, "It was a quick fix snack for my kids, especially when they were very hungry after school but now I cannot take their health for granted."
These developments have also come as a rude shock to hosteler's for whom Maggi noodles were a go-to-food, especially at odd hours. Varun Mithani, a hosteller and college student in Delhi University, said, "They were the easiest to cook, very affordable for us. We now have to search for alternatives if they aren't safe."
B.K. Mishra, a distributor, said, "I used to supply 100,000 packets of Maggi noodles every day to shops in and around Noida. But we have completely stopped supplies since the past three days."
Akshay Kumar, who owns a grocery shop in the southern quarters of New Delhi, said, "For us, 80% of noodles sales were from Maggi alone. But now no one buys them. So, we are returning the stocks."
Another shopkeeper Ram Prasad said, "Just 10 packets are left at my store and that I would not stock Maggi until it was declared safe for consumption."