Singapore importers told to suspend sale of Maggi instant noodles made in India; Nestle replies

Packets of Nestle's Maggi instant noodles are seen on display at a grocery store in Mumbai, India, on June 3, 2015. Singapore importers have been ordered to suspend the sale of Maggi brand instant noodles produced in India, the Agri-Food and Veterina
Packets of Nestle's Maggi instant noodles are seen on display at a grocery store in Mumbai, India, on June 3, 2015. Singapore importers have been ordered to suspend the sale of Maggi brand instant noodles produced in India, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore importers have been ordered to suspend the sale of Maggi brand instant noodles produced in India, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Thursday.

This comes after India banned the sale of the noodles for 15 days after high levels of lead were discovered in batches tested in New Delhi and the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The AVA said "a small amount" of Maggi brand instant noodles from India have been imported into Singapore, but Maggi oat products manufactured there have not been brought in here.

As a precautionary measure, the AVA has taken samples of the instant noodles for food safety tests and advised affected importers to withhold sales until tests are completed.

The AVA added that food products that fail tests will not be allowed for sale.

Nestle Singapore issued a reply to the media on Friday afternoon.

It read: "Nestle would like to reassure consumers that the quality and safety of our products are the top priorities for our company.

"All Nestle products are manufactured under stringent manufacturing conditions that meet both local and international standards and are safe for consumption. Nestle has in place strict food safety and quality controls at all our manufacturing facilities, including thorough quality checks at each stage of our raw material sourcing and manufacturing process.

"All Nestle Singapore's product ingredients fully comply with local food laws and regulations. In addition, comprehensive testing is done to ensure that Nestle Singapore products fully comply with all applicable food safety laws and regulations, as well as our own high standards of quality and safety before they reach our consumers.

"In line with this, Nestle Singapore regularly monitors the level of lead as part of our stringent quality control processes, including testing by accredited laboratories.

"These tests have consistently confirmed that all products are in full compliance with local food laws and regulations.

"We understand that some consumers are concerned by reports that the authorities in India have found elevated levels of lead in a sample pack of Maggi Noodles. The trust of our consumers and the safety of our products is our first priority.

"In spite of Maggi Noodles being completely safe, Nestle India has decided to take the products off the shelves.

"Nestle India reassures consumers that the trusted Maggi Noodles will be back in the market as soon as the current situation is clarified."

calyang@sph.com.sg