Safety: Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) officially lifted the ban on the import of Maggi noodles manufactured by Nestle in India, five months after it had temporarily banned the sale of instant noodles in the country.

However, only those with this month’s manufacturing date will be allowed to import and sale in the country.

BAFRA’s senior laboratory officer with Quality Control and Quarantine Division, Gyem Bidha, said the ban is lifted based on the corresponding actions taken by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI).

According to media reports, FSSAI approved laboratory of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysore had found Maggi noodles to be in compliance with India’s food safety standards.

Food authorities in India had then deemed Maggi noodles hazardous and unsafe for human consumption and banned its sale in India. Laboratories in India and abroad in recent months tested more than 2,700 samples of Maggi noodles. Each test confirmed the level of lead to be far below permissible limits.

BAFRA had also sent about 39 Maggi samples to its reference laboratories in India and Thailand, after reports of high amount of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) were detected in the noodle.

Gyem Bidha said the test found the levels of lead and MSG in the product within permissible levels.

“However, we did not lift the ban at that time because of the risk of huge influx of recalled Maggi noodles into the country,” she said. “Moreover, the noodle was still banned in India by FSSAI.”

The sale and display of instant noodles was banned in the country since June after Nestle notified the ministry to recall the product from the markets.

Dechen Tshomo