'Fake Cheese Row': Action Against McDonald’s Outlet In Ahmednagar - FSSAI Seeks Information From Maharashtra FDA

'Fake Cheese Row': Action Against McDonald’s Outlet In Ahmednagar - FSSAI Seeks Information From Maharashtra FDA

Westlife Foodworld in Ahmednagar has been accused of making misleading claims on use of substitutes instead of real cheese.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Saturday, March 02, 2024, 09:22 PM IST
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Action Against McDonald’s Outlet In Ahmednagar: FSSAI seeks Information From Maharashtra FDA | File photo

Mumbai: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has sought information from Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its recent action taken against the McDonald’s outlet in Ahmednagar district alleging that the restaurant operator, Westlife Foodworld, of making misleading claims related to the use of substitutes instead of real cheese.

According to sources, the food safety authorities are concerned about food hygiene and its standards for which they have sought complete details about action taken against giant fast food chains.

Misleading consumers

“There is a need for action against such players who are misleading consumers and are the reason for spreading unwanted diseases or infection amongst humans through substandard foods. To address such issues, the FSSAI might come out with an advisory soon asking players in the restaurant industry to ensure they are in adherence with food safety regulations especially when it comes to labelling and claims,” said the source.

Substitutes instead of real cheese

However, recently FDA alleged that it was making misleading claims and was using substitutes instead of real cheese in some food items following which food samples were collected in November last year for testing and after the report license was suspended. However, two days ago, the FDA revoked the license of Westlife Foodworld, which operates McDonald’s outlets in the South and West region through its subsidiary Hardcastle Restaurants. The outlet recently renamed some food items removing the word “cheese” from its menu in stores in Maharashtra.

“Our commitment to transparency in our ingredients and dedication to providing delicious, high-quality meals to our customers remains unwavering,” read a statement issued by McDonald's India (West & South).

‘Eat Right Campus’

The FSSAI had established rigorous criteria and a comprehensive evaluation process for the ‘Eat Right Campus’ certification programme under the Eat Right India movement, which was started in 2019 as a large-scale effort to transform the country’s food ecosystem to ensure safe, healthy and sustainable food for all Indians.

However, recently 500 hospitals have been certified with ‘Eat Right Campus’ and 150 stations are certified with ‘Eat Right Stations’. Meanwhile, the FDA is also conducting an inspection drive across giant fast food chains across Maharashtra to check whether the food safety norms are followed or consumers are being misled.

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