NEW DELHI / WASHINGTON - One of India's most popular foods has returned to store shelves after being banned five months ago.
The Indian unit of Swiss food giant Nestle relaunched its instant Maggi noodles Monday in 100 cities across India after the noodles were proved safe for consumption after testing at three government-approved labs.
Nestle India took Maggi out of stores in June after Indian food safety authorities found the product contained higher than permissible levels of lead. Those findings prompted one of the largest food recalls in recent times with noodles worth about $ 67 million being destroyed.
In August, the Bombay High Court ordered fresh tests on the instant noodles, calling the nationwide ban arbitrary.
Nestle had always maintained Maggi noodles, cleared in tests conducted by several other countries, were safe.
With the noodles back in Indian stores, Nestle said in a statement, "It has been a challenging period for the Nestle organization and therefore, there is a feeling of satisfaction at bringing back Maggi noodles to the market.”
It was not immediately clear whether Nestle India would take legal action against the food safety authorities. Indian safety authorities have defended their initial test results on the noodles.