4 Jun 2015

Nestle gives NZ noodles the nod

4:49 pm on 4 June 2015

Global food and beverage giant Nestle has moved to allay fears that a popular snack food widely available in New Zealand may contain unsafe levels of lead.


Photo: 123RF

The BBC reported Nestle's Maggi instant noodles had been banned from sale in the northern Indian province of Uttar Pradesh after tests showed some flavouring sachets contained too much lead.

Several major grocery chains in India had taken the product off their shelves.

Nestle Oceania spokesperson Margaret Stuart said Nestle New Zealand did not import Maggi noodles from India. As well, the company monitored all raw materials for lead, and levels were consistently shown to be within safe limits.

Ms Stuart said the company had submitted samples of Maggi noodles from almost 600 product batches made in India to an external laboratory for independent analysis. It had also tested samples from almost 1000 batches at its own accredited laboratory, with the samples representing about 125 million 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. We are sharing these results with the authorities," she said.

Standard testing on Maggi noodles included contaminant monitoring - including lead - on both raw materials and finished goods.

"We are confident that our Maggi noodles in India and elsewhere in the world are absolutely safe to eat," Ms Stuart said.

The company remained committed to improving the quality of agricultural raw materials across the food chain and was working with farmers, suppliers, authorities and the food industry to ensure food safety, she said.

"We are fully co-operating with the authorities who are conducting further tests and are awaiting their results."