McDonald’s mozzarella sticks are in violation of federal standards because instead of being pure mozzarella, real mozzarella, or 100 percent real cheese — as advertised by the company — the sticks are made with starch. McDonald’s is being slammed with a $5 million class-action lawsuit for the deception of its customers and the fast-food chain is feeling the heat.
McDonald’s mozzarella sticks $5 million class-action lawsuit was filed on January 29 with the United States District Court for the Central District of California, according to a February 5 Syracuse report. The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Chris Howe, is a Riverside County resident and accuses the company of false advertising.
“The sticks are filled with a substance that is composed (in part) of starch, in violation of the federal standards of identity for ‘mozzarella’ cheese, and contrary to reasonable consumers’ expectations regarding the meaning of the term ‘mozzarella,'” Howe claims in the lawsuit.
According to the 32-page lawsuit, Howe bought and ate an order of McDonald’s mozzarella sticks on December 24. Had he known that he was not eating real mozzarella cheese, he would not have spent his money, states the lawsuit. Howe claims 3.76 percent of the cheese is actually a starch filler.
As described in the lawsuit, mozzarella cheese – under federal law – can contain dairy ingredients (cow’s milk, nonfat milk, or cream), clotting enzymes, vinegar, coloring, salt, and antimycotics — but it cannot contain starch if it is being advertised as mozzarella cheese.
By using starch instead of 100 percent mozzarella cheese, McDonald’s can cut its cost significantly. “In so doing, Defendant deceives its customers into buying products they believe contain a quality, kind, and quantity of mozzarella cheese which they do not. As a result of the conduct described above, Defendant has been, and will continue to be, unjustly enriched at the expense of Plaintiff and the other California Class members.”
In response to the McDonald’s mozzarella sticks $5 million lawsuit, which is going nationwide and lists at least 45 U.S. states, spokeswoman Lisa McComb said in a statement that the company will defend itself. In regard to customers buying McDonald’s mozzarella sticks which had no cheese in it at all, McComb said that the company was aware of the problem: “In these instances, we believe the cheese melted out during the baking process in our kitchens and shouldn’t have been served. We apologize to any customers who may have been affected. We are working to fix this in our restaurants.”