Update: Hindus, Muslims, and Vegetarians Sue McDonald's over Use of Beef Flavoring in Fries

May 20, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On May 20, 2001, The New York Times reported on an observant Hindu, Brij Sharma, who "is one of three plaintiffs representing the Hindus and vegetarians of America in a lawsuit filed on May 1 in Seattle that accuses McDonald's of deliberately misleading its American customers." In 1990, McDonald's announced that it was switching from beef fat to "100 percent vegetable oil" to cook its French fries. Sharma "and other American Hindus were outraged to learn that McDonald's French fries are seasoned in the factory with beef flavoring before they are sent to the restaurants to be cooked in vegetable oil." Hinduism prohibits its followers from ingesting beef. News of the use of beef flavoring in the French fries has had huge repercussions overseas.