NEW YORK (CNNfn) - McDonald's Corp. apologized Thursday for "confusion" about beef flavoring used in the French fries it sells in the United States.|
"Because it is our policy to communicate to customers, we regret if customers felt that the information we provided was not complete enough to meet their needs. If there was confusion, we apologize," McDonald's said.
The statement, found on the company's U.S. Web site, is at least partly in response to a recent lawsuit by Hindu lawyer Harish Bharti. He accused McDonald's of deception, saying the company does not reveal that it uses beef fat to flavor raw fries, but claims to cook the fries in 100 percent vegetable oil.
McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, acknowledges it uses beef flavoring in the fries. "A small amount of beef flavoring is added during potato processing -- at the plant," McDonald's said. "These fries are then shipped to our U.S. restaurants. Our French fries are cooked in vegetable oil at our restaurants."
Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's said it was not required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reveal the use of beef flavoring
McDonald's also said it doesn't use the beef flavoring for fries sold at its restaurants in India or predominantly Hindu countries. Hindus abstain from beef for religious reasons.
McDonald's (MCD: Research, Estimates) shares closed down 26 cents Wednesday at $30.24.