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Maharashtra’s FDA bans McDonald's outlet over fake cheese use, CAIT demands 'nationwide ban'

Jaya Vishwakarma
New Update


The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) of Maharashtra recently suspended the license of a McDonald's outlet in Ahmednagar, accusing it of using cheese substitutes in its food items. 

The FDA's action was based on an inspection that purportedly revealed the use of non-dairy cheese analogues in products advertised with cheese, leading to a directive for McDonald's to eliminate the word 'cheese' from its menus nationwide during the ongoing investigation.

What Hardcastle Restaurants said?

In response, Hardcastle Restaurants, the franchisee operating McDonald's in west and south India, insists on using only real cheese in their food preparations, denying any regulatory non-compliance.



CAIT demands nationwide ban 

The controversy has escalated with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) calling for a nationwide ban on McDonald's operations. Citing the health risks associated with the alleged use of hazardous cheese substitutes, CAIT has urged the government to take stringent action against the fast-food giant. 

Government and regulatory response

In response to the allegations and the traders' body's demands, the FDA has announced plans to inspect all McDonald's outlets across Maharashtra to ensure compliance with food safety norms.

The scrutiny is not limited to McDonald's alone but extends to other pizza and burger joints, which might also be using cheese substitutes.

FDA highlighted the importance of clear labeling and the display of nutritional information for products made with cheese analogues, setting specific guidelines for establishments to follow.

The debate over cheese analogues

The controversy lies in the use of cheese analogues, which are designed to mimic the taste, texture, and functionality of real dairy cheese but are made from cost-effective vegetable oil.

The FDA's findings at the Ahmednagar outlet pointed to the absence of clear labeling for items containing these substitutes, raising concerns over consumer rights to know what they are consuming and the potential health implications of such substitutes.

What McDonald's said?

Following the ban, McDonald's India recently took to social media and denied claims made by FDA and said that it uses "only real, quality cheese" in its products.