What You Need To Know About The TGI Friday's Mozzarella Stick Lawsuit

In July 2022, the French government issued a decree that would completely revamp how it markets plant-based products. As of October, France became the only country in the EU to ban words like "steak" and "sausage" from the packaging of animal-free meat alternatives, per a statement shared by The National. "It will not be possible to use sector-specific terminology traditionally associated with meat and fish to designate products that do not belong to the animal world and which, in essence, are not comparable," reads the statement. Those gathering provisions for a vegan barbecue at a Parisian grocery store won't find patties that claim to be "burgers." 

If you live by the doctrine of "who cares?" then you might not see why France went to such great lengths to issue these restrictions. But if you're Amy Joseph from Illinois, you completely understand the value of transparency when it comes to food packaging. TODAY reports that Joseph is the first plaintiff in a "potential nationwide" class-action lawsuit against TGI Fridays frozen mozzarella sticks. 

Where's the mozz?

In February 2021, Amy Joseph heated up a package of TGI Friday's "Mozzarella Snack Sticks" purchased from Amazon. She snapped one open only to discover that it contained nary a shred of mozzarella. She filed a class-action lawsuit against the restaurant chain (which also sells a series of heat-and-serve grocery products manufactured by Inventure Foods) on account of misbranding and of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The lawsuit, shared by TODAY, reads, "Despite its label, the Product does not contain mozzarella cheese; rather, it contains cheddar cheese."

TODAY reports that a Chicago federal judge agreed to move forward with the case against Inventure Foods on November 28. Since TGI Fridays didn't have a role in creating the packaging, it's in the clear. "We intend to proceed against Inventure Foods on behalf of the nationwide class of purchasers of TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks," said Joseph's lawyer. The Washington Post says the plaintiff is seeking "monetary relief" for purchasing the misleading "premium" product.

If you're now craving real mozzarella sticks, try this air fryer recipe.