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Meats

We answer your questions about our beef, chicken, pork and fish.

Are your burgers made using real beef?

Yes. Our burgers in the US are made using only 100% USDA-inspected beef. There are no preservatives, no fillers, no extenders and no so-called “pink slime” in our beef. The only thing added to our burgers is a bit of salt and pepper during grilling.

 You can learn more about the ingredients in our food here

Are your burgers fresh or frozen?

In the U.S., our 100% beef is ground, formed into patties and then flash frozen. Flash freezing helps ensure the quality and flavor of our burgers when they are cooked in our restaurants.   

Why are your burgers so cheap?

As many savvy shoppers would tell you, buying in bulk can lead to big savings!

At McDonald’s we feed millions of people each day, which means we need to buy a lot of  beef, potatoes, lettuce, chicken , eggs and more. This allows us to get great prices on the ingredients we use to make your favorite menu items. 

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.  

Is your beef "grass fed"?

Farming practices vary, but generally much of the cattle in the U.S., including the cattle we use for our beef, are grass fed for the first part of their lives. When cattle enter feedlots in the latter part of their lives, they are provided a balanced diet that may include grains, grasses and mineral blends in their feed. 

Do you import beef from Brazil, from clear-cut rainforests? Do you import chicken from China?

Most of our beef we use in our U.S. restaurants comes from the U.S, although we import a small percentage of our 100% beef from suppliers in Australia and New Zealand to supplement our U.S. purchases. These suppliers must also meet McDonald’s quality and safety standards and USDA regulations. In fact, we’ve maintained a global policy against using beef sourced from de-forested rainforests since 1989. You can learn more about our long history of sustainable land management practices here.

All of the chicken we use in our U.S. restaurants is born and raised in the U.S. and comes from our trusted USDA-inspected American suppliers. 

What is in a Chicken McNugget?

In the U.S., Chicken McNuggets are made with white-meat chicken . The white meat is ground and blended with a small amount of chicken skin (which adds flavor and helps hold the ground chicken together when we form it into the four famous McNugget shapes – bell, boot, ball and bone). We then coat each McNugget in a tempura batter, par fry it to set the batter and flash freeze it to ensure great taste. 

The ingredients we use in our Chicken McNuggets are available here.

Do you use mechanically separated chicken in your Chicken McNuggets?

A lot of our customers ask us questions about a photo circulating online.

This does not depict how McDonald’s USA makes Chicken McNuggets or, frankly, any item on our menu.  Our Chicken McNuggets are made with USDA inspected boneless white meat chicken. We do not use the process known as mechanically separated chicken, nor do our Chicken McNuggets ever at any point, look like this photo. 

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.   

Why do your Chicken McNuggets include an "anti-foaming" agent?

McDonald’s frying oil contains a small amount of an additive called dimethlypolysiloxane, which helps prevent oil from foaming and spattering in our restaurants.  

 All of the ingredients we use, including dimethylpolysiloxane, meet recognized food quality and safety standards.  Because dimethylpolysiloxane is used in some non-food products, like putty, caulks  or cosmetics, there have been individuals who have erroneously claimed that these items are also in our food.

 We recognize the difference between using ingredients in food versus using a variation of those ingredients for non-food purposes can be confusing. We also realize that sometimes the scientific name for an ingredient may sound scary. For example, the salt you use to de-ice a driveway is a variation of the salt you use in the kitchen, however they are both sodium chloride.

You can learn more about the ingredients in our food here

What kind of fish do you use in the Filet-O-Fish?

In the U.S., our Filet-O-Fish sandwich features wild-caught Alaska Pollock, which is 100% sourced from a fishery certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.   

Once caught, the fish is deboned, filleted and these filets are cut into the Filet-O-Fish’s iconic square shape. Our suppliers then bread them and then flash freeze them before sending to our restaurants. 

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

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.

Is the McRib made using the same plastics as yoga mats?

We use ingredients that are commonly used by the food industry and meet recognized food quality and safety standards.  Azodicarbonamide is used by bakers to help ensure a consistent texture in each batch of bread they bake. It is used in many items on grocery store shelves, like some hot dog and hamburger buns and other bread products you may already purchase.  

Because a variation of this ingredient is used in some non-food products, including yoga mats, there have been individuals who have erroneously claimed that our food contains that same rubber or plastics. This is simply not true. 

We recognize the difference between using ingredients in food versus using a variation of those ingredients for non-food purposes can be confusing. We also realize that sometimes the scientific name for an ingredient may sound scary. For example, the salt you use to de-ice a driveway is a variation of the salt you use in the kitchen, however they are both sodium chloride.

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

Does your meat contain added hormones?

Chicken: McDonald’s USA does not use any chicken that contains added hormones. In fact, no chicken sold in the U.S. does. The use of added hormones in poultry is prohibited by federal law.

Beef:  It is common U.S. cattle industry practice to use FDA-approved growth promotants, like naturally occurring or synthetic hormones, in animals being raised to produce beef.  McDonald’s USA does not have any requirements beyond meeting all FDA regulations for use of growth promotants in cattle.