1979: Channel 6 investigates McDonald’s cherry pies

Posted at 5:30 AM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 06:01:08-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Call 6 investigations are integral to RTV6. The station has conducted thousands of investigations since it began broadcasting seven decades ago.

Its sweetest investigation likely came in 1979 when it looked into an issue with cherry pies sold at McDonald’s.

Regulations from the Food and Drug Administration require a frozen cherry pie to be comprised of no less than 25 percent cherries by weight.

Former Channel 6 reporter Rick Sallinger ventured to a local McDonald’s restaurant to find out if McDonald’s complied with this regulation.

Sallinger purchased ten cherry pies and began cutting them open with help from former Channel 6 restaurant critic Reid Duffy.

The pair found that of the ten pies, the average number of cherries per pie was five. After weighing the fruit from the pies, they found the average amount of cherries per pie was about 16%, which fell below the required 25%.

Sallinger contacted McDonald’s home office in Illinois. Company officials told him McDonald’s was exempt from the FDA regulation.

The same regulation is still around today; however, its days may be numbered.

An Associated Press report earlier this year found the FDA planned to begin the process to revoke the frozen cherry pie regulations as part of a deregulation agenda from the Trump administration.