All rumours and speculations about the safety of Haldiram’s packaged foods can now come to a rest. The Maharashtra FDA has declared that Haldiram’s packaged foods are safe for human consumption.
In February 2015, some Haldiram’s snacks were not allowed to enter the USA by the U.S Food and Drug Administration because of contamination. This gave rise to a lot of speculation on the social media about whether Haldiram’s was to go the Maggi way.
Many of Haldiram’s snacks are manufactured at their facility in Nagpur. Therefore the onus fell on the Maharashtra government to ensure that the foods manufactured by the company were within safety norms. Besides this the growing speculation that Haldiram’s products such as cookies, wafers and biscuits were unsafe was growing.
Reportedly the FDA website had declared Haldiram’s products, exported from India, as unsafe because of high levels of pesticides, moulds and bacterial contamination. The clamour grew when other media began to report about the ban of Haldiram’s foods in USA because of harmful contaminants. Minister of State had asked the FDA Commissioner to look into the matter and test the food samples.
Samples of Haldiram’s bhujia sev, navratan mix, potato chips, soanpapdi, moong daal, etc. were tested and all samples were found to be within regulatory limits. Since there was speculation about the limits of lead in the foods lead levels were also tested. Maximum permissible limit of lead is 2.5 ppm and the foods tested showed levels between 0.6 ppm to 1.73 ppm which is well within permissible limits.
In all 20 samples were collected out of which 14 were from Nagpur and the rest from Mumbai. The samples were also rigorously tested for sand particles, bacteria Salmonella and E. coli and Vibrio Cholera. All these tests also showed up as negative.
Haldiram’s is a major sweets and snacks manufacturer and is based in Nagpur but it has other manufacturing plants in New Delhi, Kolkata and Bikaner. In India, the company runs its own chain of retail stores and restaurants mainly in North India. They also export their products to a number of countries worldwide. Haldiram’s recently started catering to train passengers in the Paschim Express, which runs between Amritsar and Mumbai.