McDonald’s announced a number of changes to its menu in the United States on August 1, including the removal of artificial preservatives from several items which are already free of artificial colors and flavors, such as Chicken McNuggets. Pork sausage patties and omelet-style eggs served on McGriddles, Bagel and Biscuit breakfast sandwiches, along with the scrambled eggs on breakfast platters, also now have no artificial preservatives.
The world’s largest chain of hamburger quick service restaurants, which operates approximately 14,000 outlets in the USA that serve upwards of 25 million customers daily, is rolling out new buns this month that no longer contain high fructose corn syrup. These include bun components of Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sandwiches.
No Human Antibiotics in Chicken
Additionally, the company is fulfilling a major commitment to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics used in human medicine, nearly a year ahead of schedule. In total, these changes affect ingredients in approximately half of the food items offered at McDonald’s restaurants.
“More than ever, people care about their food – where it comes from, what goes into it and how it’s prepared,” said Mike Andres, president of Oak Brook, Illinois-headquartered McDonald’s USA. “We’re making changes to ensure the food we’re proud of is food our customers love and feel good about eating, and we remain committed to our continuing food journey.”
McDonald’s originally set out to achieve its antibiotics chicken commitment by March 2017. Through a large scale collaborative effort with suppliers and farmers, the company was able to make the change a reality and bring it to customers well ahead of schedule. Now Chicken McNuggets and all chicken item served by the fast food chain across America are sourced from poultry not treated with antibiotics used in human medicine.
“McDonald’s and its suppliers have worked to identify appropriate alternatives for sustaining broiler flock health while implementing protocols to ensure that animal welfare is not compromised,” said Dr. H. Morgan Scott, professor of epidemiology in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University. “Sourcing decisions by industry leaders such as McDonald’s have great potential to positively influence appropriate antibiotic stewardship in food animal sectors around the world.”
Ongoing Menu Innovation
Meanwhile, the QSR giant continues to innovate its menu to include new tastes and ingredients such as turkey sausage, guacamole made with Hass avocados, Sriracha and pico de gallo as part of local and regional introductions.
“From our test kitchens to what we serve in our restaurants, we’re zeroing in on how to bring new flavors and choices, some never seen before on our menu, to customers across the country,” said Chef Jessica Foust, the company’s director of culinary innovation. “Our focus on culinary innovation is essential as we continue to evolve.”
McDonald’s is appealing to local tastes with innovations and new ingredients relevant in certain regions of the country, such as:
- Gilroy Garlic Fries in the San Francisco Bay area, where french fried potatoes are hand tossed with a purée mix including garlic from Gilroy, California, olive oil, parmesan cheese, parsley and a pinch of salt
- Old Bay Fillet-O-Fish sandwiches across the Mid-Atlantic, made with 100% sustainably sourced, Marine Stewardship Council-certified wild caught Alaskan Pollock
- Lobster Rolls in New England, the birthplace of the dish, made with 100% North Atlantic lobster