Man Suing McDonald’s Claims Their New Mozzarella Sticks Aren’t Really Mozzarella

February 5, 2016   |   Nick Bernabe

Nick Bernabe
February 5, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Riverside, CA — McDonald’s has had a tough couple of weeks. On Wednesday, we reported McDonald’s new ‘healthy’ “Keep Calm and Caesar On” kale salad actually has more calories and sodium than a Double Big Mac. Now, McDonald’s new “Mozzarella” Sticks are coming under fire, and one California resident filed a class action lawsuit last week seeking $5 million in damages is accusing the company of false advertising.

Before the lawsuit was even filed, the lack of cheese had consumers puzzled. In fact, as the tweets below show, some people wondered if there was any cheese in them at all. One explanation contended McDonald’s was just being frugal with the cheese, but some commenters with cooking experience suggested it might be a simple case of overcooking, which causes an apparition of emptiness.

Now, the botched rollout of the new mozzarella sticks has gotten worse. Chris Howe, a Riverside, California man’s lawsuit against McDonald’s claims the company is falsely advertising them as ‘made with 100% real cheese,’ even though he says that is not entirely true.

“Relying on McDonald’s representations about the Sticks, and the self-evident proposition that a product called ‘mozzarella’ will be mozzarella cheese, consumers have been misled en masse into purchasing the Sticks,” the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiff says he tested them and found them to be only partially real cheese. According to a local NBC news affiliate, “Howe claims he had the central filling of the sticks tested and determined they are 3.75% starch by weight.”


McDonald’s advertisement for the “100% real cheese ” mozzarella sticks. 

While this seems like a small figure, the FDA has a very strict set of regulations governing cheese makers and marketers. According to the FDA, if the lawsuit is correct, McDonald’s “mozzarella” product should more accurately be called “mozzarella-like fried sticks.”


An example of a properly labelled cheese product. Image credit: Mike Mozart.

Even worse for McDonald’s, the lawsuit may reveal the company is in violation of federal regulations by calling these “mozzarella-like fried sticks” real cheese.

This article (Man Suing McDonald’s Claims Their New Mozzarella Sticks Aren’t Really Mozzarella) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nick Bernabe Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo,

Author: Nick Bernabe

Nick Bernabe founded Anti-Media in May of 2012. His topics of interest include civil liberties, the drug war, economic justice, foreign policy, geopolitics, government corruption, the police state, politics, propaganda, and social justice. He currently resides in Chula Vista, California, where he was born and raised.

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  1. If he wins Mcdonald's won't give a damn. That amount of money to them in nothing at all.

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  2. I think the barely there filling is ridiculous, but the package says "made with" 100% cheese. It doesn't say the filling is 100% cheese, so seems to me technically as long as there is "some" real cheese I don't think it's necessarily misleading. Then again, I don't know the particular food regulations regarding this. I don't even know why they would venture into making cheesesticks anyway…especially if they're going to be that crappy. That's why I never even bothered trying them.

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  3. The only part that has cheese is the center. Then the inside should 100% cheese.

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  4. Marcus Scheepstra, I'm sure he meant since they are a billion $ company that 5 mil is nothing to them. And you call that food?

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  5. You think they could afford to hire someone who knows enough about nutrition and balance to design healthier yummy take-away food at an affordable price.

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  6. Patrick Ploof It says it is made with 100% real cheese, it doesn't state that the filling is 100% real cheese.
    It could be 10% real cheese and 90% other ingredients, as long as the 10% is 100% real, their ad isn't really lying, just misleading.

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  7. 60% of the time, it works every time. If they say, "made with 100% real cheese", that means unadulterated and uncut. The tests showed that they "cut" the cheese down to less than 100% by adding starch. It's facetious to claim that the 100% refers to the cheese as an ingredient because that would be utterly meaningless. Anything used as an ingredient is 100% what it is. Furthermore, "Mozzarella" itself isn't a homogenous substance; it, itself, is defined by the ingredients and method used to produce it. If you change the ingredients beyond what the definition of Mozzarella encompasses, then the result is, as the article states, Mozzarella-like but not actually Mozzarella.

    However, this is all besides the point because no self-respecting person ought to be eating at McDonald's in the first place. I'ma gonna go look up a good, proper recipe for fried Mozzarella sticks and get some good and proper Mozzarella from the expensive cheese display to make it.

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  8. you would think they could hire someone that knows how to cook fried moz sticks………

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  9. I tried these at 2 different McDonald's in different city's the first was terrible but I thought perhaps the oil used to fry them was old so I tried them again ,in a different store in a different city they were just as bad .these things are terrible they have a slight chemical taste but definitely not good 100%mozzarella taste ,it's closer to a plastic taste. I have a severe digestive disease chronic pancreatitis fake dairy products can really set it off things like cheese food made with oil and chemicals the fake butter like in movie theaters, certain types of margarine etc have made me horribly physically sick, they are made using petro chemicals it has no nutritional value as it's made from chemicals from petroleum by products they can make salt chemically the molecules are nearly virtually identical to salt , or butter , or cheese but are created using petroleum based chemicals. Petro chemicals are not FOOD!

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  10. No one should be eating at McDonalds… But especially not YOU with your disease!!!!! EVER!!!

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  11. Nina Rodgers I know your right 🙁 Sometimes I'm on the road for work and just get hungry my family gets onto me about it they have seen me at my worst I'm very lucky and proud to have people who love me enough to put up with me. Thank you for your concern and know that I do try to watch what and how I eat real cheese is usually ok in small amounts with the meds a lot of it has been trial and error . Again thanks for your concern and have a gr8 day . . .!/ BlessedBe

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  13. No one was harmed by these alleged "not real cheese" cheese sticks. If McDonald's is making false claims, it should be brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities and they should be fined.

    But to sue for $5 million in damages? How much do these things cost? Take it back to the manager and get your money back.

    I'm really tired of opportunists looking for any reason to sue a company. He's not concerned about false advertising. He wants money.

    I have no love for McDonald's, they cannot seem to get their act together to make healthier, nutritious food. But this isn't a faceless corporation. Profits are down and they are paddling as fast as they can to stay afloat. They employ thousands of people and if they go under, those people lose their jobs.

    The prevailing mindset in this country is that corporations are bad. "Down with corporate greed!" Yes, there is a problem. But the majority of companies were started by good people who had an idea and became successful. Penalize the ones that have become resource gobbling, outsourcing, tax avoiding behemoths. But don't lump them all together. Without companies, most of us wouldn't have a job.

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  14. well, I hope he wins, but seriosuly, anyone who buys the toxic sludge crapped out of their friers really doen't have much ground complaing that it's pure shit. if you have a brain, even if you only use it occasionally, you'd stop poisdoining yourself with their chemically enhanced food-like products.

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  17. Curiousty got me to try them a few weeks ago. Awful, and the "marinara" sauce was equally vile.

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