McDonald’s Removes Artificial Ingredients From Its Burgers

McDonald's Removes Artificial Ingredients From Its Burgers
iStock/Johnnieshin

Fast-food giant McDonald’s says it has removed all artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors from its classic burgers in all 14,000 U.S. locations calling it the “next” major milestone for the chain’s food journey “and another way the company is helping customers feel good about the food they’re enjoying.”

The move to the classic burger, which appears in the McDonald’s hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Big Mac, brings nearly two-thirds of the chain’s burgers away from any artificial ingredients.

McDonald’s says to make the change it removed artificial preservatives from its American cheese, the Big Mac’s “Special Sauce,” and buns for the sandwiches.

“From switching to 100% fresh beef in our quarter-pound burgers, cooked right when ordered,  to removing artificial preservatives in our Chicken McNuggets, and committing to cage-free eggs by 2025, we have made significant strides in evolving the quality of our food,”  Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s USA President, said in a statement. “We know quality choices are important to our customers, and this latest positive change to our classic burgers demonstrates our committed journey to leading with the customer and building a better McDonald’s.”

McDonald’s has made other commitments to revamping its menu items and practices as a whole including switching its egg suppliers to cage-free eggs by 2025 and sourcing coffee from sustainable sources by 2020.

“We understand that now more than ever, people care about their food – where it comes from, what goes into it and how it is prepared,” said Linda VanGosen, McDonald’s Vice President of Menu Innovation, “and we are committed to make changes to our menu our guests feel good about.”

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.