New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday gave its nod to Nestle India and FSSAI to destroy 550 tonnes of recalled stocks of Maggi noodles which have passed shelf life and are in the possession of the company and the food regulator.
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit said the stock which is stored at 39 locations of the company across India and the stock which is with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) at Lucknow shall be destroyed as per the agreed procedures between both the parties.
Senior advocate Arvind Dattar, appearing for Nestle India, said the stock will be destroyed at the incinerators of the notified cement plants by FSSAI and representatives of food regulator can also be present.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for FSSAI, said they are not opposed to destruction of stocks but there were some issues regarding disposal of the stock which are subject matter of SLP filed against the Bombay High Court order.
The bench granted liberty to the parties to approach court in case of any grievances and disposed of the pleas.
On September 21, Nestle India had moved court seeking its nod to destroy about 550 tonnes of recalled stock of Maggi noodles which have passed shelf life, saying their storage may lead to health hazard.
The company had said that pursuant to withdrawal announcement and ban order on June 5, 2015, Nestle India Ltd had recalled stocks of Maggi noodles and till September 1, 2015 destroyed around 38,000 tonnes of the noodles.
The firm said it had 490 tonnes of stock pending destruction and 60 tonnes were received from the market. Hence, 550 tonnes of stock stored in 39 location across the country needed to be destroyed.
"This entire stock of approximately 550 tonnes is well past its 'best before date' and its storage is giving rise to conditions that may lead to health hazard at the said locations," the plea said.
It said over 38,000 tonnes of Maggi noodles have been destroyed till September 1, 2015 at incinerators of the notified cement plants, keeping in view environmental requirements.
On April 5, a Mysuru-based government laboratory had given its test report on Maggi noodles in a sealed cover to the apex court.
On January 13, the apex court had asked the Mysuru lab to clarify whether test reports relating to lead and glutamic acid in Maggi noodles were within permissible parameters under the law.
The apex court had passed the order after perusing two communications received from this lab which had carried out the test on monosodium glutamate (MSG) content in the samples.
While Nestle India, makers of Maggi, had claimed the lead content was within permissible limits prescribed under the Food Safety Act, the Centre said there was a need for comprehensive findings of all other parameters.
The apex consumer commission had on December 10, 2015, sent 16 more samples of Maggi noodles for testing at Chennai to ascertain the quantity of lead and MSG in them in connection with the government's Rs 640 crore suit against the company for alleged unfair trade practices.
The Bombay High Court had on August 13 last year lifted the ban on nine variants of the fast food and asked the company to go for fresh tests.