BOMBAY, India, May 15 (UPI) -- Indian food laboratories have given a clean chit to McDonald's, saying that the American fast food chain was not using animal fat at its outlets in India, reports said Tuesday.

The tests conducted on McDonald's French fries and palm oil at India's Food and Drug Administration and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation laboratories in Bombay have shown that they were free from animal fat. The tests followed protests by India's ruling BJP party and a Hindu fundamentalist group called Shiv Sena over reports that the French fries contained beef tallow. The Hindu religion does not allow Hindus to eat beef or anything cooked in cow fat.

"The samples were collected from eight outlets of the fast food chain," said Alka S. Karande, a director at the municipal lab. On May 8 the municipal lab took 3 samples and the FDA lab collected 2 samples of French fries and FDA took 4 samples and the municipal lab one sample of palm oil. They were all free of animal fat.

Reports first published in an Indian newspaper in California that McDonald's was using animal fat to flavor French fries caused concern among the followers of the Hindu religion across the world. While the food giant admitted using animal fat in the United States, it said McDonald's outlets in India were only using vegetable oil. However, religious Hindus in the United States still complain that they should have been warned as well.

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