‘Disputed’ Maggi Noodles being sold in Dubai supermarkets

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Supermarkets selling noodles packs made in India on promotional rate despite the packages mentioning that they are meant for sale only in India, Nepal and Bhutan.

By Sajila Saseendran/senior Reporter

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Published: Fri 29 May 2015, 1:44 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 3:22 PM

The Dh1.50 pack is being sold for Dh1.25. — KT photo by Sajila Saseendran

Dubai - In an apparent stock clearance of Indian-manufactured Maggi Noodles that have courted controversy in India, some Dubai supermarkets are offering them on promotional rates, despite the packages mentioning that they are meant for sale only in India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Safety of some Indian-manufactured Maggi Noodles was reportedly under the scanner after officials in the state of Uttar Pradesh recently claimed to have found “dangerous” levels of lead and added monosodium glutamate (MSG), a taste enhancer.

The dust over the controversy hasn’t settled even after Nestlé India challenged the order to recall that particular batch of the product of some 200,000 packs, which, the company says, had already reached the “best before date” in November 2014. Many have reportedly stopped buying Maggi over there. Things are expected to be clear after the announcement of further tests, including the one ordered by Nestlé to be held by an independent third party.

In Dubai also, the Dubai Municipality officials had said they were conducting tests on the products available here in view of the reports from India even as Nestlé Middle East assured of “safety and compliance with the highest quality standards for all Maggi Noodles in the region.”

However, Khaleej Times found out that a few supermarket chains, mainly those catering to Indian expatriates, are selling at least two flavours of Maggi Noodles made in India, the wrappers of which clearly mention –“For sale in India, Nepal and Bhutan only.”

They have also slashed the price for Meri Masala Maggi, the hugely popular 2-minute noodles in India that is at the centre of the controversy. In one supermarket in Al Quoz, the offer on Meri Masala Maggi was highlighted with a special display board. A shopkeeper said the product had newly arrived just a week or so before.

“It was sold for 75fils per pack a couple of days back. Now, it’s been changed to Dh1.25,” he said. The price of all other flavours available in the same store was Dh1.50 per single pack.

When contacted, the general manager of the supermarket chain, however said, the company had been selling the Indian varieties of Maggi for a year and with the permission of the municipality. “We have also voluntarily provided samples to the municipality for testing after we got the message about the issue in India. But, the results haven’t come yet,” he said, defending the promotion as a normal affair.

Another store in Umm Suqeim was also selling the single pack for Dh1.25. However, there was no discount offered for the Grain Shakti Veg Atta Noodles, another Indian variety, which is also to be sold in those three countries only.

Khaleej Times found that all other flavours of Maggi Noodles packets sold in the UAE, such as chicken, curry, cheese, biryani, vegetable and Maggi MiGoreng fried noodles are made by Nestlé Manufacturing in Malaysia and carry Arabic translation of product details on the package itself.

In the case of the Indian varieties being sold here, ingredients of the products are written in Arabic, a mandatory requirement as per the municipality, in stickers, which is apparently permitted by the municipality.

Dubai Municipality officials could not be reached for comments before going to the press.


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