The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has collected samples of Nestle’s Maggi noodles from all the States for testing and a report is expected in the next three days, government officials said here on Monday.

Brand ambassadors, they said, could also be liable for action if advertisements for the popular noodles are found to be misleading.

“The FSSAI has picked up samples from across States, results of some of which should be in later today and the rest over the next two or three days. The samples are being tested across parameters, not just for the presence of monosodium glutamate and lead,” said G Gurucharan, Additional Secretary, Consumer Affairs Ministry.

While the FSSAI would take action if violations of standards were found, Gurucharan said that the consumer affairs department had not received any complaints regarding Maggi noodles as yet.

“Under the misleading advertisements clause, if a manufacturer professes that a product has a quality which it doesn’t and a brand ambassador has also promoted it saying that the product has those attributes, then, yes, they would certainly be liable for action,” he added.

Earlier, Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food, told newspersons that the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has been monitoring developments.

“The FSSAI has taken up the case and the NCDRC has also been informed,” he said, adding that the latter could file class-action suits.

On April 30, the Uttar Pradesh Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had asked the Swiss company to recall one batch containing 200,000 packets of the popular noodles produced in February 2014 after it found lead seven times the prescribed limit for food items and elevated levels of artificially-added MSG.

Some other States, such as Uttarakhand, are also getting samples tested.

Brand ambassadors Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta and Madhuri Dixit have had cases filed against them for endorsing the brand. “Nestle has reassured me that they adhere to stringent testing for quality and safety and are working with the authorities closely,” Dixit had tweeted earlier.

Nalin Khanna, CEO of brand advisory firm Vertebrand, said that while the companies need to be more active in responding to the concerns being raised by officials and consumers, the Government also needs to ensure that it has a robust system to regularly check food product samples.

“It is not possible for an individual brand ambassador to keep a tab on the safety of a product. They can probably get a certificate or a lab report at the time of signing up for the endorsements but they can’t keep tabs in the future,” Khanna added.

Branding experts said that if a celebrity was assured of a product’s safety at the time of signing up but the product is later found to be unsafe, the brand ambassadors cannot be held responsible.

If the current case of Nestle leads to legal repercussions for Maggi’s brand ambassadors, it could mean that celebrities will need to start taking measures to protect themselves from such lawsuits, they said.

It could also lead to an increase in brand endorsement fees, the experts said.

Nestle’s response Nestle India on Monday said internal and external tests of Maggi Noodles revealed that the product does not contain excess lead, and that it is sharing these results with the authorities. The company said it had submitted samples of Maggi Noodles from almost 600 product batches to an external laboratory for independent analysis apart from testing samples from almost 1,000 batches at its own accredited laboratory.

“These samples represent around 125 million (12.5 crore) packets. All results of these internal and external tests show that lead levels are well within the limits specified by food regulations and that Maggi noodles are safe to eat,” Nestle India said in a statement.