Visitor looks at products on display during the launch of the first Starbucks store in New Delhi
A visitor looks at products on display during the launch of the first Starbucks store in New Delhi, Feb. 6, 2013 Adnan Abidi—Reuters

Starbucks Removes Certain Flavorings From Indian Stores Over Health Concerns

Jun 16, 2015

Customers queuing up at Starbucks outlets in India will for now have to do without some of the coffee chain’s popular flavorings in their drinks, after the company suspended the use of certain ingredients rejected by Indian food safety inspectors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The move comes days after Indian food safety inspectors banned Nestle’s popular Maggi noodles labeling them “unsafe and hazardous” after samples of the snack allegedly showed excessive levels of lead. Nestle, which pulled the noodles off shelves across the country earlier this month, insists the product is safe, saying it has conducted its own tests that showed levels “well within regulatory limits established in India.”

In a statement, Starbucks India — a joint venture between the U.S. coffee giant and the Indian conglomerate Tata — said it was working with India’s food safety inspectors to “to provide technical information relating to our pending ingredient applications that they have requested.”

“While we finalize the documentation necessary to complete these applications, we have initiated the suspension of applicable ingredients from certain products served in our stores,” read the statement by the venture’s chief executive, Avani Davda.

“It is important for me to emphasize that all of the imported globally standardized ingredients we serve in India, including those we are suspending, are safe and meet the safety standards in over 65 countries where Starbucks operates," Davda added. "All of these imported ingredients received the then applicable product testing and safety authorizations when they were imported into India.”

Meanwhile, Nestle is working to destroy stocks of Maggi noodles, with India’s MINT newspaper reporting that the company was in the process of recalling over 27,000 tonnes of the snack in an exercise involving 3.5 million retail outlets.

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