The Truth About McDonald's Meat

Considering that McDonald's sells more hamburgers than anybody else on the planet, it's not surprising that their beef gets a lot of attention. For a long time, a rumor was floating around that McDonald's bought its burger meat from a mysterious company called "100% Beef," which allowed them to make the claim that their burgers were beef when they really weren't. Others claimed that the burgers were filled out with worm meat (gasp!). Both of these rumors have since been proven false.

Unsettling rumors aside, one still has to wonder just how this fast food behemoth goes about handling its meat. So let's chew the fat in regards to the facts behind the beef on your McDonald's burger. 

Where's the beef in a McDonald's burger?

It only makes sense to start at the beginning and ask where McDonald's beef comes from. According to their website, McDonald's buys its beef from ranchers all over the United States, as well as New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. The fast food giant says that one of those suppliers is Oklahoma City-based Lopez Foods. According to Lopez Foods' website, they've been doing business with the Golden Arches since 1968 and have supplied them with not just beef, but pork and chicken as well. 

As for how that beef is processed, Business Insider visited one of McDonald's largest meat processing facilities in Germany and noted the shipments of beef are first checked over to ensure no bones are still nestled within. It's then put through about the biggest meat grinder you could possibly imagine before each patty is shaped by machinery.

The burgers are then flash-frozen and packed into plastic bags and boxes before they're shipped off to McDonald's restaurants. 

Is McDonald's meat 100 percent beef?

Of course, the big question is, "Are McDonald's hamburger patties 100 percent beef?" According to McDonald's — yes, their meat is 100 percent beef. "Every one of our burgers is made with 100% pure beef and cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else — no fillers, no additives, no preservatives," reads a statement on their website. 

Most of that meat is a ground-up mixture of chuck, sirloin, and round. As for it being completely grass-fed like what you might expect at a fine steakhouse — well, probably not. The cattle might start out eating grass, but they're then moved over to a diet of grains, grasses, and minerals. 

In a fairly recent change for McDonald's, if you order a Quarter Pounder, there's a good chance your burger patty is fresh and not previously frozen (via CNN).

As for the health concerns regarding McDonald's meat, well, it is fast food so take that into account.