afaqs! news bureau

McDonald’s India (West and South) MD and CMO double down on its cheese’s authenticity in two separate videos

Maharashtra FDA had found one of the QSR’s outlets was using cheese substitutes instead of real cheese and didn’t inform consumers about it.

“We have never ever substituted any of our cheese-containing products with any cheap alternative or any other alternative… Our Cheese is real cheese,” exclaims Saurabh Karla, managing director, McDonald’s India (West and South), in a video posted on the QSR’s LinkedIn account.

CMO Arvind RP made a similar claim in a separate video. “Our cheese is the 100% real deal made from dairy.”

These moves come on the back of news reports stating the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had revoked the license of a McDonald’s outlet in the state’s Ahmednagar district having found it used cheese substitutes and not informing consumers about it.

On February 27, 2024, Reuters reported said Maharashtra would inspect fast-food outlets to check if they use cheese alternatives in products wrongly promoted as containing real cheese.

NDTV, in a February 25, 2024, report quoted Rajendra Bade, a food safety official from FDA-Ahmednagar: “In October 2023, we visited the outlet in Kedgaon and discovered that the names of food items displayed at the outlet included American Cheese Burger, American Cheese Nuggets, Cheese Burger, Italian Cheesy Lava Burger, and Blueberry Cheese Cake. All these names are their brand names for their products.”

Bade said that after analysing, they found the joint was using a cheese substitute and not real cheese. "Technically, this is called a cheese analogue or cheese substitute. While pure cheese contains milk fat, the cheese analogue contains both milk fat and vegetable fat."

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