Swiss consumer goods group Nestle has begun production of its popular instant noodles Maggi in three of its plants in India and is reportedly expected to resume sales from November.
According to The Times of India, the company is resuming production after all 90 sample of Maggi, including 6 variants, were found to be safe, with lead content much below permissible limits after they were tested by three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court.
However, Nestle has not specified any date for resuming sales.
"We have resumed manufacturing of Maggi noodles at three of our plants, at Nanjangud (Karnataka), Moga (Punjab) and Bicholim (Goa). In compliance with the orders of the Hon'ble High Court of Bombay , fresh samples from these batches will be sent for testing to the three accredited laboratories designated by the HC," TOI quoted a Nestle spokeswoman as saying.
Once the samples are cleared by the laboratories, Nestle said it will resume sales of Maggi, which had been banned in the country in May. The Bombay High Court overturned the ban in August.
The TOI report further states, "The company had planned to bring Maggi back in the market by the end of the year but with the results of the tests they would want to hit the shelves in the festival season and seek to help nurse the brand which has been a comfort snack for millions."
According to a report in The Financial Times, "Nestle India reported a net loss of Rs 644m ($10m) for the quarter ending in June, its first loss in at least 15 years, after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India banned the production and sale of Maggi noodles due to allegations the product contained dangerously high levels of lead. The company said sales had fallen 20 per cent year on year because of the Maggi noodle ban."
The company destroyed an estimated 350m tonnes of Maggi noodles, "at a cost of Rs 4.5bn, during the quarter", adds the report.