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The state government issued notices to three outlets of fast food giant McDonald’s for allegedly re-using old oil and for “improper handling” of ingredients.
The Rajasthan health department found that the fast food restaurant had been using 16-day old oil for cooking and had not been maintaining a proper record of their food inventory.
“Besides using old oil for frying, the ingredients found in their refrigerators were undated and there was no record of when they were opened or how old they were,” Jaipur Chief Medical Health Officer Narottam Mishra told The Indian Express.
“They also did not display their food licence, which is mandatory,” Mishra added.
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The three outlets — located at Panchbatti circle, Elements Mall and Crystal Palm Mall — were inspected by the department, which reportedly destroyed over 100 litre of used oil.
McDonald’s, however, defended its food management.
“McDonald’s in India has a robust oil management system (that is) developed and used worldwide by the corporation in 130 countries over the past 60 years. These processes are best in class and ensure the oil-in-use is checked every day and meets all the applicable standards,” said a statement by the firm’s official spokesperson (North and East).
“An important aspect to understand is that there are no standards defined in India for oil-in-use… yet, at McDonald’s, we follow standards and processes that ensure consistent quality and safe food is sold across all our restaurants,” it said.
The company said it looked “forward to being able to share those processes with the authorities as they seek to set standards for oil-in-use by the food industry in India”.
“We use RBD Palmolein Oil as the cooking medium. It is trans-fat free and is one of the safest and best cooking mediums that is extensively used in Restaurant and Food processing industry in India due to its established qualities,” the statement added.
Mishra said, “We have issued notices and sent the samples for testing. Any further course of action would be possible only after the test results arrive.”
Besides McDonald’s, the health department also inspected other fast food outlets, including Subway, Pizza Hut and Dominos.
“The inspection was not conducted on the same day. McDonald’s was the first in the list. The others must have put their house in order after hearing about the inspection,” a department source said.