Maharashtra FDA takes action against McDonald’s for replacing cheese with cheaper vegetable oil

The Maharashtra FDA has accused McDonald’s of deceptive practices related to the use of cheese substitutes in its items. The FDA has suspended the license of a McDonald’s outlet in Ahmednagar and prompted the chain to remove the term ‘cheese’ from various items. 

The regulator alleges that McDonald’s did not disclose the use of cheese analogues, misleading customers. The FDA has urged the chain to implement corrective actions. 

The FDA claims that McDonald’s did not disclose the use of cheese analogues on food labels or electronic display boards. During an inspection in Ahmednagar, at least eight items containing cheese analogues were found. 

FDA commissioner Abhimanyu Kale told TOI, “During the inspection, our officers did not find any mention of cheese analogues anywhere. Items like ‘cheese nuggets’, ‘cheesy dip’, and ‘cheeseburger’ were being labelled as such without indicating that the cheese was a substitute,” he said. “Most other fast food pizza and burger joints could be indulging in the same practice. We plan to investigate these chains as well.” 

Despite McDonald’s contesting the action, the outlet’s license was suspended. McDonald’s has now denied using substitutes and has assured customers that it uses only real cheese. “…we want to reassure customers that we use only real, quality cheese in all our products,”

Westlife Foodworld, which handles McDonald’s’ franchises across 62 cities in southern and western India, said it is awaiting final clarification from authorities on this issue. 

“We have always been adhering to stringent food standards and are fully compliant with all applicable food laws. Our commitment to transparency in our ingredients and dedication to providing delicious, high-quality meals to our customers remains unwavering,” the company said. 

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