HUL's decision to withdraw the product comes a day after reports that Hindustan Unilever's Chinese range of 'Knorr' instant noodles may come under the scanner of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) as the product was not in its approved list.
"HUL has decided to stop production and sale of its Chinese range of instant noodles till such time as its application is approved by FSSAI. HUL is initiating a withdrawal of its Chinese instant noodles from the market," HUL said in a statement. It, however, made it clear that "the discontinuance of manufacturing and sale of Chinese instant noodles is not on account of any safety or quality concerns."
The FSSAI on Monday issued an order to test more brands of noodles, pastas and macaronis. It listed 33 items manufactured by seven companies approved by it in these categories, wherein HUL's Chinese range of 'Knorr' instant noodles did not feature. HUL today said it had submitted an application with FSSAI for product approval for the Knorr Chinese range of instant noodles in February 2015 and the same was pending approval.
HUL's Chinese range of Knorr instant noodles are available in two flavours of Hot & Spicy and Schezwan in the market. Last week, FSSAI had banned nine variants of Maggi terming them "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption after finding high levels of lead and presence of taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG). Nestle India also announced withdrawal of the product from the market.