Warning issued over fake Maggi spices in US

Food giant Nestlé has said it has been alerted by the US FDA to a “small amount” of one of its packaged food products that appear to be counterfeit and are on sale to the public.

The fake Maggi Masala-ae-Magic Seasoning Sachets were reportedly sold to some US retail outlets, and on laboratory analysis have tested positive for Salmonella, which can cause potentially serious food poisoning infections.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, and the symptoms can be much worse if the person has compromised immunity.

The incident is another example of how counterfeit food products can pose serious health risks to consumers, for example, if pathogens, unidentified allergens or hazardous materials are added as they are made, often in unsanitary conditions.

Nestlé USA said in a statement that the affected product “was not manufactured by Nestlé, nor does Nestlé sell this product in the United States.”

According to the FDA, the Maggi product has a code date of 20640 455AA and was distributed to retail customers in 12 states (GA, NC, OH, MD, TN, TX, MS, FL, VA, NJ, NY and PA) by Amin Trading Agency LLC.

According to the FDA, Amin purchased the spices at retail stores in India and imported and subsequently distributed them in the US.

“Our understanding is that some of the counterfeit product made it to limited retail shelves, and we want to ensure consumers are aware of the potential safety risk of consuming this counterfeit product,” said the company.

“Any consumers who purchased it should not consume and dispose of it immediately,” it added. “No Maggi products produced and distributed by Nestlé are impacted.”

Also cited in the FDA Public Health Alert are two Everest-branded products - Garam Masala and Sambhar Masala – coded U25D390373 and U04D384296 – which were also contaminated with Salmonella.

Everest, an Indian manufacturer, has also said that the products “were not distributed by Everest Food Products Private Limited and they were not intended for distribution or sale in the US market.”

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