The Karnataka government has asked Nestlé to destroy all stocks of its Maggi noodles, already withdrawn from shelves in the state. Stocks have been sent to the incinerator at the ACC cement factory in Wadi, 40km from Kalaburagi.
“The company has been asked to take up the responsibility of recalling the product from the market, storing and transporting them to Wadi. The product is being burnt in an incinerator at a cement factory in the town,” said Shivakumar, joint director (food safety).
Just when you thought the worst was over
According to Shivakumar, as many as 577 tons have been sent to the incinerator, with 322 tons already destroyed. Sources at the Nestlé plant in Nanjangud confirmed that the government has issued a directive to burn the existing stocks of Maggi noodles.
Now here’s the real heartbreaker. Concerned authorities have now found a unique way to utilize the destroyed noodles. They will be used as an alternative fuel in cement plants. Ouch.
The Kalaburgi area’s factory’s chief safety officer RS Biradar said, “Maggi is crushed to 40mm pieces and it is mixed with other waste material such as rice chaff and then fed into the boiler to be used as fuel.”
Tonnes of Maggi packets are being incinerated at the ACC cement factory at Wadi in Karnataka’s Kalaburgi district. And here’s an almost brutal video of the entire process.
Meanwhile the court is still in session
The tests on Maggi samples in labs in the state showed lead content within permissible limits while traces of monosodium glutamate (MSG) were found. Since there was no clarity from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on what should be the permissible levels for MSG, Nestlé was asked to recall all its stocks. Last time we checked the lead and MSG content were hazardous, and now they are not sure. Meanwhile, another batch of Maggi goes into the shredder.
The government explained that the FSSAI ban on its sale deems the product as “expired” and hence the recalled Maggi noodles are considered hazardous for consumption and need to be destroyed. So Nestlé was selling hundreds of tons of expired Maggi? Hard to believe, but okay we’ll buy this too.
The health department has also charged Nestlé under sections 20, 53 and 54 of the FSSAI Act of 2006. Accordingly, Nestlé has been accused of issuing misleading advertisements, selling food product for human consumption containing inappropriate matter and contaminants, naturally occurring toxic substances, heavy metals etc. Meanwhile, the government has also sent three letters to FSSAI seeking clarity on the permissible limits of MSG. The letters were dispatched earlier last week by the health department.
The truly testing tests
Department sources said the state government had obtained “special permission” from the Centre to conduct a second test on Maggi and eight other brands of noodles.
The state government has also sought permission from the Centre to send the samples for tests to the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysuru. “We wanted to dispute the archaic laws that CFTRI (Mysuru) has no jurisdiction over Karnataka. The samples were sent on June 12 and reports are expected by this weekend,” said a source.