Health Minister Nitin Patel told media persons that 27 out of 39 samples of Maggi noodles were found to contain objectionable levels of lead — ranging from 2.8 to 5.0 — instead of the permitted 2.5, among other things.
Irate members of the public on Thursday staged noisy protests in various cities, including Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Rajkot, against multinational company Nestle, which manufactures Maggi noodles.
Patel said that since lead was found even in Sunfeast and Hakka noodles, shops shall be ordered to withdraw all unsold stocks of these two brands, besides Maggi, failing which they could be liable for action.
Gujarat becomes the third state in India to impose a ban on Maggi (and other brands of noodles) after Kerala and Delhi, while tests are currently underway in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and some other states.
The Gujarat government has already collected samples of various other brands of noodles available in the market, including from provision stores, small retailers and malls.
In neighbouring Maharashtra, around 550,000 retailers in Mumbai, including 25,000 provision stores, decided to stop sale of Maggi noodles, following a directive from the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association.