BAFRA: Almost two weeks after it sent the Maggi noodle samples for test, the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) is still waiting for results from Thailand.

The authority is expecting the results today.

Chief of analytical and certification division, Jamyang Phuntsho, said it usually took about 10 to 14 days to get a test result. “We’re trying to contact the Thai laboratory officials and request them to send the result as soon as possible,” he said.

Five batches of Nestle’s  maggi noodle sample were sent to test at the BAFRA’s national food testing laboratory in Yusipang and two reference laboratories in Thailand, after Indian media reports of high amounts of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the noodle.

BAFRA officials said, if the test results found the content of lead and MSG in the noodle more than the permissible limit, then the authority might recall the available stock in the market.

As Bhutan awaits the results, a number of states in India, including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana, were ordered by the government to test Maggi noodles.  Media reports say authorities in the southern state of Kerala have stopped selling Maggi noodles in more than 1,000 government-run shops following developments in Uttar Pradesh.  On June 3, the Delhi government banned the sale of the noodle in the national capital for 15 days after declaring that the samples it tested as unsafe.

Meanwhile, BAFRA officials met again yesterday, following reports of live larvae being found in Nestlé’s milk formula for babies, called NAN PRO 3 milk powder, by food safety authorities in Tamil Nadu.

BAFRA officials said the same procedure would be followed for this product as well, if the authority decided to test the samples. “This time, however, it may not take long to get the result, as the inspection can be done through physical verification,” BAFRA’s regulatory and quarantine officer, Tashi Yangzom, said.

Dechen Tshomo