Nestle plans to resume Maggi sales in India next month

ZURICH: Nestle SA, the world's largest packaged food company, plans to resume sales of Maggi noodles in India in November, a spokesman for the Swiss group said on Monday.

Nestle has been grappling with a public relations crisis in India, a fast-growing consumer goods market, following a nationwide ban on its Maggi instant noodles in May.

The ban was imposed after local regulators reported in May that some packets of the noodles contained unsafe levels of lead. Nestle, which has said the noodles are safe, had to order a recall of the product a month later, which cost it about 66 million Swiss francs ($67 million).

The company has restarted manufacturing Maggi noodles and will send samples from the new batches for testing, the company said in a statement on Monday, adding that it would only restart sales after the samples had been cleared through the tests.

"November is envisaged as the date," a spokesman said of a sales resumption. Nestle officials had declined earlier this month to speculate when sales might resume.