McDonald’s warns of health risk at 40 percent of India locations

The quality of food at McDonald’s restaurants in north and east India are not up to company standards and customers may face health risks by eating there, the company announced.

McDonald's warned Thursday against customers eating at restaurants in north and east India, citing possible health risks from poor quality and non-compliant standards. File Photo by Billie Jean Shaw/UPI
McDonald’s warned Thursday against customers eating at restaurants in north and east India, citing possible health risks from poor quality and non-compliant standards. File Photo by Billie Jean Shaw/UPI

McDonald’s said outlets run by Connaught Plaza Restaurants used ingredients that were not up to standard, and need to be shut down.

CPRL operates 160 McDonald’s restaurants in India, 84 of which were shut down earlier this week because a logistics partner, Radhakrishna Foodland, discontinued services over alleged non-payment of dues.

In August, McDonald’s terminated its franchise agreement with CPRL, causing several suppliers to pull out. Consequently, the company banned CPRL from using its brand name, trademarks, designs and food recipes.

Despite the legal battle and loss of suppliers, McDonald’s said CPRL kept the restaurants open.

“Since the termination of the franchise agreements, McDonald’s India has not been able to verify if the unauthorized McDonald’s restaurants operated by CPRL are complying with applicable McDonald’s standards, including those pertaining to supplies, operations and safety standards and quality required for McDonald’s products,” a McDonald’s India spokesperson said.

CPRL has dismissed the allegations, saying it has tried to discuss food quality and safety issues with McDonald’s for years, but has received no response.

Vikram Bakshi, CPRL’s managing director, accused McDonald’s leaders of skipping board meetings and said the international food chain adopted different standards for countries like India, which he said is an unacceptable double standard.

India has more than 400 McDonald’s restaurants.

By Susan McFarland