Cheesed off: Customer launches lawsuit over ‘deceptive’ McDonald’s mozzarella sticks
An online ad for the side dish entices customers with a $2 deal for three “melty” mozzarella sticks made with “100 percent real cheese” and served with “zesty marinara sauce.”
However, Chris Howe alleges in a complaint to a California federal court that McDonald’s is falsely selling the product as “real mozzarella.”
He is apparently seeking $5 million in damages, reports Business Insider. That's a whole lot of cheese.
Howe claims that tests show the fried sticks, ordered from a California McDonald’s outlet on Christmas Eve, contain levels of starch (3.76 percent) above what constitutes mozzarella cheese by the US Food and Drug Administration.
“Rather than solely containing cheese, the sticks contain an admixture of various substances,” the lawsuit states, according to Law360. “In particular, McDonald’s has used starch as a cheap substitute and filler.”
The alleged deception has grated on Howe and he is reportedly taking up the lawsuit on behalf of all Californians who have bought the product.
The McDonald’s website is at odds with what the aggrieved customer claims. It states the mozzarella sticks are made of “low moisture skim mozzarella cheese” and contain “2 percent or less” of additives like yeast, buttermilk and starch.
In a statement provided to Fortune, McDonald’s refuted any suggestion that the menu items were not what was advertised, adding: “We intend to defend ourselves vigorously against these allegations.”