The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is learnt to have sought information from Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its recent action on McDonald’s restaurant operator, Westlife Foodworld. Maharashtra FDA had accused the restaurant operator of making misleading claims related to the use of substitutes instead of real cheese.

Sources said the food safety authority has expressed concerns over the matter and has sought details from the Maharashtra FDA regarding this issue. “The food safety authority may also 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,” sources added.

Westlife Foodworld, which operates McDonald’s outlets in the South and West region through its subsidiary Hardcastle Restaurants, recently renamed some food items removing the word “cheese” from its menu in stores in Maharashtra. This was done after the Maharashtra FDA alleged that it was making misleading claims and was using substitutes instead of real cheese in some food items. It had also suspended the license of the restaurant operator’s Ahmednagar outlet , which was later revoked.

Inspecting outlets

According to media reports, Maharashtra FDA has now said that it will also be inspecting outlets of other fast-food chains for food regulation violations.

In a statement released on February 23, Westlife Foodworld said that “genuine, high-quality cheese is used in all its cheese-containing products.” “We are actively engaging with the competent authorities on this issue and awaiting their final clarification.We have always been adhering to stringent food standards and are fully compliant with all applicable food laws,” the statement added.