Straight From The Source: All Of Your Questions About McDonald’s Finally Answered

From pink slime to their mysterious McNuggets, McDonald’s has had more than its share of bad press. Whether or not this is justified we will leave to you, but in the name of transparency, the nation’s most visited fast food chain has addressed the most commonly asked questions about its food in a section of their U.S. site titled “See What We’re Made Of.”

We scouted the site to bring you some of the most pressing FAQs. I don’t think McDonald’s would write anything on their website before going through it with a fine tooth PR comb, so while they claim all of this is true, I’m taking their answers with a grain of fry salt.


1. Do you use so-called “pink slime” in your burgers?

Lean finely textured beef treated with ammonia, what some individuals call “pink slime” or select lean beef trimmings, is not used in our burgers. Any recent reports that it is are false.

McDonald’s USA had begun the process of removing it from our supply chain prior to widespread media coverage on its use and it was completely removed from our supply in 2011. While select lean beef trimmings are safe, we decided to stop using the product to align our global standards for beef around the world.  


2. What ingredients are used in Chicken McNuggets and are they safe?

Customers have asked about some of the ingredients in our Chicken McNuggets. The ingredients in our Chicken McNuggets are commonly used throughout the food industry, safe and permitted under federal laws and regulations and are found in many items found on grocery store shelves.  The ingredients we use in our Chicken McNuggets are no secret and are available here.   


3. What kind of meat do you use in the McRib?

There are few things more legendary at McDonald’s than the McRib.  It is a boneless, seasoned pork patty on a bun with slivered onions, two dill pickle slices and plenty of our sweet, smoky, barbeque style sauce.  

 One reason our customers love the McRib is its fun and wonderful shape. Just like a burger patty is formed to be round and flat, we form the iconic McRib in the shape of traditional ribs. Our suppliers then flash freeze the patty to seal in flavor, just like you freeze meat in your own freezer, before sending them to our restaurants. 

You can learn more about the ingredients in our food here.

4. Do you use GMO ingredients?

Some of our ingredients do contain GMOs, just like many ingredients found in grocery stores, restaurants and home kitchens. Many food and safety regulatory bodies around the world have recognized GMO ingredients to be as safe as their conventional counterparts.

 There are currently eight GMO crops available from GMO seeds in the U.S. – corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash. These crops are very common in the food industry and may be used in a number of ingredients.


5. Why do you use beef extract in your fries?

Within the U.S., McDonald’s par frying oil for fries and hash browns contains beef flavoring to provide the great-tasting flavor for our World Famous Fries.  


6. Are your eggs real?

All of our egg menu items are made with real eggs, however where they originate and how they are prepared varies slightly.  Complete ingredient and nutrition information for our eggs is available here

Round Egg on the Egg McMuffin: We use USDA Grade A eggs for our Egg McMuffin. Most of our U.S. restaurants crack the egg fresh on the grill in a circular ring to achieve the iconic round egg shape.

Scrambled Eggs: Our scrambled eggs are made with liquid eggs, cooked fresh on the grill in liquid margarine.  

 Egg White: We use 100% liquid egg whites with no additives or fillers, cooking the egg whites fresh on the grill in liquid margarine. 

Folded Eggs:  Our folded eggs are made with liquid eggs and are precooked and folded before being flash frozen and sent to our restaurants where we warm them on the grill.

Egg in Sausage Burrito: Our suppliers blend eggs with sausage, seasonings and other ingredients before flash freezing and sending to our restaurants.   

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