By Sarah Townsend
Traces of lead and MSG have been detected in the popular Indian snack and Delhi supermarkets have stopped selling them
Dubai Municipality has sought to allay concerns over a popular brand of instant noodles found to contain high levels of toxic lead.
Maggi noodles have been withdrawn from shelves in India after tests conducted by officials in Delhi revealed they contained dangerous levels of lead.
The snack was also found to contain traces of controversial chemical flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is not included in the product’s list of ingredients and can provoke an allergic reaction among some people.
However, Dubai Municipality on Wednesday announced that it had not conducted any tests on the Maggi noodles available in the UAE, as they are packaged and shipped from Malaysia, not India, and are therefore not thought to be contaminated.
“There is no clear information from the Indian authorities about how much lead was found,” Khalid Mohammed Sharif, director of Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality told Emirates 247.
“We have not identified this as a problem and there is nothing to worry about.”
He added that lead detection tests have not been carried out on Maggi noodles in the UAE, “as the Maggi in Dubai does not come from India”.
“Moreover, routine checks are always carried out both by the government and the industry,” Sharif said.
The newspaper explained that if food products are produced in the UAE, they are checked. If they are imported, they are checked by both the producer country and the UAE.
“All food products have to be produced safely and production facilities should be inspected by the respective food safety agencies (in this case, Malaysia),” he was quoted as saying.
The Delhi government has reportedly said it will take legal action against Nestle India, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle SA, and was scheduled to meet with company officials on Wednesday. Sales of Maggi noodles have been banned in all state-run stores in the Indian capital, while several major grocery chains in the city have also announced they are taking the noodles off the shelves.
A Nestle spokesperson was quoted in the Associated Press as saying that the majority of Maggi noodles produced in India are sold in India but a limited amount are exported to the US, Canada, the UK, Kenya and Singapore.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.