Instant noodles
Hindustan Unilever Ltd will withdraw all stocks of Chinese range of Knorr noodles from markets across India. [Representational Image]Creative Commons/Lola

Taking cue from the ongoing Maggi row, Indian consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has decided to recall the entire batch of Knorr's Chinese instant noodles from the market as the food regulator has not given the product its approval as yet.

Fearing the product might come under the scanner as it has not been approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), HUL, owned by British–Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever, decided to not only remove the instant noodles but also stop producing it.

"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, PTI reports.

While recalling and stopping the sale of the Chinese range of Knorr instant noodles, HUL said that they have not taken the step because there are any safety issues in their product. "... the discontinuance of manufacturing and sale of Chinese instant noodles is not on account of any safety or quality concerns," it said.

HUL's decision came at the backdrop of FSSAI's notice on Monday, ordering tests on more brands instant noodles, pastas and macronis so as to check if they are abiding by the safety standards.

FSSAI released a list of approved products, where HUL's Knorr Chinese instant noodles was not mentioned. Responding to this, HUL said they had sent an approval application to the food safety watchdog in February this year, but it is pending ever since.

The furore over instant products started with Nestle India's Maggi noodles, which was certified as 'unsafe' by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in various states. The tests on its sample showed higher than permissible limit of lead and Monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Even as FSSAI asked all state governments to stop selling the product, Nestle India also announced withdrawal of Maggi instant noodles while maintaining that their product is safe.