If the companies named accept the reports, they could potentially face a fine of up to Rs 2 lakhs.
The Food Safety and Drug Administration has decided to go strict on noodle manufacturing companies violating the FSDA norms. Recently, in Barabanki, companies making noodles like Knorr soupy noodles, Horlicks foodles and Chings were charged with putting more ash in their products than the permissible limit.
Incidentally, Barabanki is the same place where Maggi samples were reported to have more lead than permissible last year. This had caused a hue and cry and Maggi stocks were recalled from the shelves of shops.
“We will file the case in court if they do not challenge our report within a month,” said designated officer FSDA in Barabanki, Manoj Varma.
He said the companies could face a fine of Rs 2 lakhs if they accepted the report.
Last time, in Barabanki, Nestle, which makes Maggi, challenged the report of the Lucknow Lab. The samples were then sent to Kolkata which confirmed the presence of lead in them.
This resulted in a countrywide ban on Maggi. However, now the makers of Knorr soupy noodles, Horlicks foodles and Chings noodles are in a fix. If they challenge the report of the FSDA Barabanki and the report is seconded by Kolkata lab, then they can face a fate similar to Maggi.
Manoj Varma said on Wednesday, a meeting of all the designated officers of FSDA was held in Lucknow and a strategy to collect samples of all noodles and soups prepared.
Last year, samples of Yippee noodles also failed the lead test in the Lucknow lab. However, this time more ash was found than the permissible level while lead was under permissible level.
Additional commissioner, FSDA Ram Araj Maurya said, “We will follow the rulebook and action will be taken according to the law.”
However, the traders who hold the agency of these noted brands of noodles are feeling jittery. A stockist said on condition of anonymity that if the noodles failed the tests again, credibility would be hit. That is why they had advised the company officials to not challenge the report. “We have advised them to just pay the fine and settle the matter,” he said.