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Business News/ News / India/  Maharashtra McDonalds under fire for ‘cheesy deception’; renames McCheese veg burger to 'Cheddar delight …’
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Maharashtra McDonalds under fire for ‘cheesy deception’; renames McCheese veg burger to 'Cheddar delight …’

Maharashtra FDA accuses McDonalds of using cheese substitutes in burgers and nuggets, prompting suspension of outlet in Ahmednagar and removal of word 'cheese' from menu nationally.

The Maharashtra FDA has accused fast food giant McDonalds of cheesy deception and said that do not use genuine cheese in the food served to their customersPremium
The Maharashtra FDA has accused fast food giant McDonalds of cheesy deception and said that do not use genuine cheese in the food served to their customers

McDonalds, a fast food giant known for their burgers, is now facing the brunt of Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who has accused them of using substitutes in burgers and nuggets instead of real cheese, according to media reports. 

The Maharashtra FDA has accused fast food giant McDonalds of cheesy deception and said that do not use genuine cheese in the food served to their customers. According to a Times of India report, the license of McDonalds outlet in Ahmednagar has been suspended. 

The action has caused the burger joint to remove the word cheese from their menu in several locations. The Maharashtra FDA has asked McDonalds to remove the usage of word cheese from their menu nationally.

The Maharashtra FDA had asked McDonalds to remove the usage of word cheese, which typically means the dairy product, in October 2023. 

The action against McDonald's started in Oct with an inspection of their Kedgaon branch in Ahmednagar. 

What are cheese alternatives? 

Cheese alternatives, or cheese analogues, are designed to replicate the taste, texture, and functionality of traditional dairy cheese.

According to the ToI report, the cheese substitutes, allegedly identified in several McDonald's items, typically replace milk or dairy fat with more cost-effective vegetable oil. The Maharashtra FDA has accused McDonald's of using cheese analogues without proper disclosure on food labels or on electronic display boards, thereby "misleading" people into thinking they are eating real cheese.

McDonalds' Cheesy items on menu

Maharashtra FDA had found that at least eight items from McDonalds menu, including cheesy nuggets, McCheese veg burger, McCheese non-veg burger, corn and cheese burger, cheesy Italian veg and blueberry cheesecake, contained cheese analogues.

The Maharashtra FDA had issued a show cause notice to McDonalds to this effect. 

McDonalds denies using cheese analogues

According to a report published in ToI, McDonald's wrote to FDA in December 2023 informing that they had renamed the products by deleting the word "cheese".

They renamed cheesy nuggets as veg nuggets, McCheese veg burger as cheddar delight veg burger, blueberry cheese cake as blueberry cake, among others. McDonalds also shared letters from their cheese suppliers saying the cheese sauce used in frozen cheese nuggets is produced by Dlecta Foods Pvt Ltd, and was not analogue.

On Friday, Westlife Foodworld Limited, the parent company of McDonald’s India, issued an official statement saying, “only genuine, high-quality cheese is used in all our cheese-containing products". 

“Collaborating with suppliers adhering to global standards ensures top-quality cheese in our product offerings and not cheese analogues or any substitute", the statement added.

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Published: 23 Feb 2024, 03:46 PM IST
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