McDonald’s Is Being Sued Over Its Mozzarella Sticks

February 3, 2016, 8:00 PM UTC
McDonald's Offers Japan Chocolate Fries While It Mulls Unit Sale
An illuminated sign stands outside a McDonald's restaurant, operated by McDonald's Holdings Co. Japan Ltd., in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. In an effort to win back customers after a series of food scandals, including a human tooth in a serving of french fries, McDonalds Japan has come up with a surprise; white-and dark chocolate-covered french fries. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota — Bloomberg via Getty Images

One angry customer refuses to accept that McDonald’s mozzarella sticks really contain mozzarella.

Chris Howe filed a lawsuit in California federal court claiming that McDonalds’ (MCD) advertising and packaging for its new menu item are misleading and fraudulent, according to Law360. Howe says he purchased an order of the mozzarella sticks at a McDonald’s location in California and claims that a sample taken from the product showed it contained 3.76% starch. He says that it shouldn’t be labeled as “mozzarella cheese,” according to federal standards.

The complaint states that McDonald’s used the filler in order to save money. The lawsuit states:

Upon information and belief, McDonald’s has been able to cut costs of production by limiting its reliance on actual dairy products necessary to make mozzarella, contrary to what the law requires for products labeled as “mozzarella.”

It claims that the mozzarella sticks are made with a mixture of various substances, both cheese and filler. Subsequently McDonald’s advertising, which says the product is made with “pure mozzarella,” is deceptive and unfair to consumers.


Howe is seeking class-action status and wants to represent McDonald’s customers who have purchased the mozzarella sticks nationwide. He is also requesting both restitutionary and non-restitutionary disgorgement, compensation for legal fees, and a cease and desist order to prevent the company from continuing practices that he claims to be illegal.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s told Fortune in a statement, “Our mozzarella cheese sticks are made with 100% low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously against these allegations.”

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