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Did someone cut the cheese?
On April 29, Wisconsin resident Kaitlyn Huber filed a lawsuit claiming that the pizza-flavored Bagel Bites don’t actually use real cheese. The suit alleges that the lunchtime staple’s manufacturer, Kraft Heinz, is lying to consumers by including the “real” dairy stamp on its products.
The suit states that “the Product does not contain ‘real’ mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, as these foods are understood and expected by consumers.” The complaint also rides on the idea that fillers are used in the bites by the Kraft Heinz Foods Company.
“The name, ‘Mini Bagels with Mozzarella Cheese and Tomato Sauce,’ is deceptive because mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, as these terms are understood by consumers and regulations, are not present in the Product or are present in an amount less than expected,” the lawsuit said.
But Kraft Heinz bit back, denying any wrongdoing to their cheesy mini-pizzas.
“Bagel Bites, the perfect bite-sized pizza snack, are made with delicious, high-quality ingredients that our fans know and love,” a Kraft Heinz spokesperson said in a statement to the “Today” show. “We proudly stand by the food we make, and are focused on bringing great products to market. The lawsuit lacks any merit, and we will strongly defend our brand.”
The lawsuit also alleged that the Bagel Bites’ “cheese blend” includes modified food starch. The suit also contended that cornstarch and methylcellulose are added to the tomato sauce to “reduce the amount of tomatoes used by thirty-five percent.” According to Everyday Health, methylcellulose is a bulk-forming laxative that increases the amount of water in your stools to help make them softer and easier to pass. It is also used as a thickener and emulsifier in some food and makeup products.
Huber is looking for the class-action suit to include Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio residents who purchased Bagel Bites. Her lawyer, Spencer Sheehan, told “Today” that her team hopes the lawsuit will result in Kraft Heinz correcting its packaging in the future.
“Consumers, especially Wisconsin consumers, know what real mozzarella cheese is and isn’t, and they know that real mozzarella cheese doesn’t contain food starch,” Sheehan said. “They also know that tomato sauce has real tomatoes.”
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