The new year has been upon us for a month, now, and as we sit in the midst of our failed resolutions the easiest way to validate ourselves is to watch as friends and family struggle to put down that pack of cigarettes or walk to the refrigerator instead of the gym. Now we can add McDonald’s to the list of those who walked fresh-faced into 2016, took three steps, and fell over. Late last year McDonald’s announced they would be adding a number of new menu items in January, including the ultimate late-night staple, mozzarella sticks. The chain promised three sticks for the suspicious price of $1, and now, less than a month later, that promise has proven hollow. Literally.
In the past week McDonald’s has come under fire after pictures began to surface on Twitter
revealing the sticks as cheeseless husks, missing their namesake ingredient entirely. These aren’t isolated incidents either.
— Kellie Meharg (@kcoleman20) January 2, 2016
— clay wallace (@ClayWallace) January 11, 2016
The growing number of outraged tweets has warranted a statement from the chain itself. Their official explanation as to why they’d been slinging fried tubes of hot air to customers? “The cheese melted out during the baking process” and “shouldn’t have been served.” They promise to look into the issue and take steps to remedy their no-dairy disaster, but will it be enough?
Mozzarella sticks are by virtue of their name fried with breadcrumbs to cover the cheese and seal the gooey goodness inside. Trust is placed in the makers that they do not fill the sticks with butter or fingers or sawdust. Trust is also placed in the makers that they, in fact, fill them with something. You can’t see where the sticks came from (and if you did you probably wouldn’t want them anymore), so you have to assume there are failsafes in place to ensure you’ll get the product you spent your hard-earned single dollar on. What McDonald’s has done here with their latest fast food faux pas goes beyond the highway robbery they’ve inadvertently brought down on unwary consumers—it breaches the trust of their customers. What’s next, French fries with no potatoes inside them? A Big Mac made of lettuce?
If all this wasn’t bad enough, the mozzarella sticks have continued to drum up trouble for ol’ Ronald even when they do remember to add the cheese. Turns out what they’re adding isn’t technically 100% cheese like franchise says it is: 4% of the mozzarella they use is actually starch. A suit brought against them by disgruntled customers in 40 states is looking to settle the score at $5 million in damages. I guess it’s karma—96% cheesy karma.
McDonald’s: You may stop my heart with your cholesterol, and you may ruin my figure with your chicken nuggets, but when you make me afraid not of what is in my food but what isn’t, you’ve gone too far.
Feature Photo Credit: “Homemade Fried Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce” by Brent Hofacker | Shutterstock