McDonald’s is in a bit of a stick-y situation after being slapped with a lawsuit regarding one of its new menu items.
A California man is suing the chain for $5 million, claiming that McDonald’s “adulterated and misbranded” its mozzarella sticks by including fillers in the product.
In the suit, Chris Howe accuses McDonald’s of including starch as a filler so the restaurant wouldn’t have to include more cheese. According to the Desert Sun, the lawsuit accuses the restaurant of introducing “starch as a cheap substitute and filler. Due to starch's ability to hold moisture, a small amount can be introduced into a mixture to add bulk and weight at a fraction of the cost of real cheese."
McDonald’s claims that the mozzarella sticks “are made with real mozzarella” on both the item’s packaging and in advertising campaigns.
McDonald's sued over mozzarella sticks that allegedly didn't use "real" cheese https://t.co/KqYipkepXXpic.twitter.com/7IQ9hw4POi
— CNN (@CNN) February 3, 2016
“Our mozzarella cheese sticks are made with 100 percent low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese," a McDonald’s representative said in a statement to Law 360.
Howe should just be content that his mozzarella sticks actually included cheese. The restaurant is already facing social media backlash after many customers received hollow sticks.
I love the new mozzarella sticks from @McDonalds. Well the breading since none of them had cheese. #feelingemptypic.twitter.com/XkLAiCv7MP
— Jennifer Nordin (@JennoHocan) January 23, 2016
All 3 of @McDonalds new Mozzarella Sticks came empty. #wheresthecheese#donttrythisitempic.twitter.com/lQXKGmQhaN
— Brannon Peterson (@RaisinBran66) January 17, 2016
Craving mozzarella sticks. Excited that @McDonalds has them! Just to get home to have hollow breading :( #sadpic.twitter.com/ngnLG7Kx8K
— Amber (@Heyamber021) January 26, 2016
According to Newsy, McDonald’s claims that the cheese somehow escaped the sticks during the baking process, and many of the affected customers have received coupons for free orders of mozzarella sticks.
"We are aware of a low volume of guest concerns about our mozzarella cheese sticks ... we believe the cheese melted out during the baking process in our kitchens and shouldn't have been served." — statement from McDonald's
The mozzarella sticks were recently introduced as part of McDonald's McPick 2 meal, where customers choose two menu items from a select menu for $2.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.