Watching McDonald's Hamburger Patties Being Made In The Factory Is Mesmerizing

On average, McDonald's sells around 2.5 billion burgers yearly, but how exactly are those burgers made? While you won't see a team of hundreds of artisanal chefs grinding hamburger meat into something culinary, the way the chain mass produces its patties is a feat of engineering that is, dare we say, art. 

The process for creating patties is simple. Large baskets of meat are churned through an industrial grinder until they become a fine paste. McDonald's uses a mixture of chuck, round, and sirloin to make its ground beef. As part of the manufacturer's safety measures, a sample is placed in a machine that analyzes moisture and protein content, among other things. From there, the ground beef rides a conveyor belt to a machine, where it's pressed into round, evenly formed patties. Reportedly, McDonald's makes its patties thin and wide for even cooking. It also prevents them from drying out. 

Many of the patties undergo one final step before packaging — flash freezing. McDonald's opts to flash freeze the beef for shipping. Generally, they go from factory to restaurant in two to three weeks. However, the restaurant has started serving its Quarter Pounders with fresh beef

No more pink slime

After flash freezing, factory workers remove the patties from the conveyer belt and package them into boxes ready to be shipped. On average, Cargill's Fresno Plant, one of McDonald's largest factories, produces around 4 million patties daily. That's a lot of beef! While behind-the-scenes videos take viewers on a serene journey through McDonald's behind-the-scenes operations, it also helps alleviate some worry about one's food.


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For years, the burger chain has dodged rumors that it uses pink slime in its burgers. Pink slime is beef that's been treated with the chemical ammonium hydroxide. Although it's not harmful, pink slime has garnered a negative reputation among consumers. While McDonald's once used the mixture, the company stopped in 2011. 

According to its website, McDonald's assures customers that all of its patties are made with 100% beef and no additives or preservatives. McDonald's made the move to remove additives from its meat as a result of changing standards — although you may still be surprised by some ingredients in its food. The chain feels confident enough in its product to give its customers a view of how its burger patties are made.