The Korea Food and Drug Administration found a number of large domestic pizza franchises to be using processed and imitation cheeses. The KFDA found nine franchises using such ingredients, contrary to their advertising, and has deferred the case to the public prosecutors’ office.
Along with the pizza makers, three cheese producers were found to have falsely recorded the ingredients of their products.
According to the KFDA, nine domestic pizza franchises have been using processed and imitation cheeses while advertising that their stores only used natural cheeses.
Processed cheeses are produced by treating natural cheeses with additives, while imitation cheeses are produced from cooking oils to resemble the dairy product.
Of the nine, six franchise brands, including Pizza School, 59 Pizza and Pizza Maru, used processed cheeses around the rim of their pizzas despite advertising on flyers and pizza boxes that only natural cheeses are used.
There are about 1,940 stores affiliated with the nine franchises, nearly 90 percent of which carry the Pizza School, 59 Pizza and Pizza Maru brands.
In addition to the nine, three domestic pizza franchises were found to have used a “cheese mix” that contains imitation cheese on the toppings, despite advertising to the contrary.
Together, the 12 franchises are said to have sold nearly 60 billion won ($53 million) worth of pizzas containing processed and imitation cheeses.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)