Excerpt from HospitalityBizIndia Article, Published on Feb 26, 2024

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken decisive action against a McDonald’s outlet in Ahmednagar district, revoking its license following allegations of mislabeling cheese products, a recent official announcement revealed.

The FDA investigation uncovered that the fast-food giant’s outlet in Kedgaon was utilizing a cheese substitute in its offerings without proper disclosure to customers. Rajendra Bade, a food safety official from FDA-Ahmednagar, disclosed that several menu items, including American Cheese Burger, Cheese Burger, and Blueberry Cheese Cake, contained a cheese-like product instead of genuine cheese. Upon inspection, it was found that the outlet’s products were labeled inaccurately, failing to distinguish between real cheese and cheese analogues. This prompted the FDA to suspend the outlet’s license in November, with subsequent investigations and appeals leading to a compliance report submission by McDonald’s.

In response to the FDA’s directives, McDonald’s India (West & South) made significant revisions to its menu, replacing ‘cheese’ with alternative terms like ‘Cheddar Delight’ and ‘Veg Nuggets’ to accurately reflect the ingredients used in its offerings. Hardcastle Restaurant, the franchisee overseeing McDonald’s operations in western and southern India, assured that it is cooperating fully with regulatory authorities and expressed commitment to upholding stringent food standards.

In a statement shared on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) by Westlife Foodworld Ltd., McDonald’s India (West & South) reiterated its dedication to using only genuine, high-quality cheese in its products, emphasizing adherence to applicable food laws and standards. The FDA’s firm stance underscores the importance of transparent labeling and accurate representation of food products in the market, ensuring consumer trust and safety. McDonald’s and its franchisee have been urged to maintain compliance with regulatory guidelines to resume business operations in the state.

As the investigation unfolds, consumers are advised to remain vigilant about product labeling and ingredients, fostering a culture of informed consumption and accountability within the food industry.

To delve deeper into this topic, please read the full article in HospitalityBizIndia.