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Unveiling the Source: Where Does McDonald’s Get Their Meat

One of the most well-known fast-food restaurants in the world, McDonald’s serves millions of consumers each day. The burger, which is constructed from beef patties, is one of their most popular menu items. Many people have expressed interest in the topic of where McDonald’s gets its meat.

person holding mcdonald's burger

Online sources indicate that McDonald’s obtains its beef from a number of vendors in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

The Oklahoma City-based Lopez Foods is one of their main beef suppliers. 

The supplier’s factory promptly freezes the hamburger patties once they are produced from USDA-inspected, 100% pure ground beef to lock in flavor. 

To bring out the natural flavor of the beef, the patties are grilled on the grill once they are received at the McDonald’s restaurant.

McDonald’s Meat Suppliers

One of the biggest fast-food franchises in the world, McDonald’s serves millions of people every day. 

a beef burger sold by McDonald's

McDonald’s relies on a broad network of suppliers to supply them with a variety of components, including meat, in order to satisfy the enormous demand for their goods.

Major Meat Suppliers

With an annual supply of more than 150 million pounds of beef, 300 million pounds of chicken, and 15 million pounds of fish, Keystone Foods is one of McDonald’s main meat suppliers. 

McDonald's breakfast burgers

For more than 40 years, Philadelphia-based Keystone Foods has provided products to McDonald’s.

Lopez Foods, another significant supplier, gives McDonald’s the USDA-inspected beef it needs to manufacture the patties that are served in eateries. 

McDonald’s has relied on Oklahoma City-based Lopez Foods as a supplier for more than 30 years.

McDonald’s also obtains its beef from various ranches and farms in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

To make sure that there is always a supply of high-quality meat products, the company collaborates with many suppliers.

Quality Standards

The beef that McDonald’s serves in its restaurants must meet rigorous quality criteria. 

Box of mcnuggets

The business has strong rules for environmental sustainability, food safety, and animal welfare that all of its suppliers must adhere to.

For instance, McDonald’s mandates that their suppliers adopt humane handling and slaughter methods, as well as other measures that meet or exceed industry standards for animal welfare. 

Additionally, the business demands that its suppliers adopt food safety plans in accordance with stringent governmental guidelines and professional norms.

McDonald’s regularly audits and inspects the facilities of its suppliers to make sure they adhere to these criteria. 

The business also demands that its suppliers take part in independent certification programs that confirm adherence to its quality requirements.

In conclusion, McDonald’s depends on a huge supply chain of vendors to deliver high-quality meat goods. 

For the meat they offer in their restaurants, the corporation has high quality standards, and they work closely with their suppliers to assure compliance.

Meat Sourcing Process

McDonald’s, one of the largest fast-food chains in the world, serves millions of people every day.

Let's eat fried chicken at McDonald's

McDonald’s purchases meat from a variety of vendors and processing facilities in order to meet customer demand for their menu items

To guarantee the high quality and security of their food items, the organization maintains tight policies.

Animal Welfare Standards

McDonald’s is dedicated to purchasing meat from vendors who uphold high standards for animal welfare. 

hamburger sold by the international fast food chain McDonald's

The business has requirements for its suppliers, including providing suitable housing, food, and care for animals. 

To make sure that suppliers adhere to these requirements, McDonald’s also collaborates with impartial outside auditors.

Slaughterhouses and Processing Plants

McDonald’s obtains its meat from a variety of butcher shops and processing facilities. 

McDonald's Big Mac Bacon burger.

The business has tight guidelines for food safety and quality that suppliers must adhere to. 

Before it is sent to McDonald’s restaurants, the meat is examined and tested.

The meat is prepared safely and effectively thanks to the use of cutting-edge technology in the processing facilities used by McDonald’s suppliers. 

Machines are used to grind the beef, form it into patties, and ship it to McDonald’s restaurants frozen.

McDonald’s has implemented a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program to guarantee the safety of their food items. 

With the help of this program, production-related risks can be found and prevented.

McDonald’s is serious about the procurement and processing of their meat products, to sum up. 

The business collaborates with vendors who uphold high standards for food safety and quality as well as animal welfare.

Meat Products at McDonald’s

McDonald’s is renowned for their 100% beef patties-based hamburgers. 

 fried chicken is for sale at MCDONALD'S

The beef utilized in McDonald’s hamburgers comes from a number of ranches and farms spread across numerous nations. 

According to Talk Radio News, McDonald’s and its beef suppliers have a wonderful working relationship, and all meat originates from cow feedlots.

McDonald’s menu also includes items made from chicken, fish, and hog in addition to beef. 

100% white flesh chicken is used to make the chicken items, including Chicken McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches. 

The Marine Stewardship Council has accredited sustainable fisheries as the source of the fish used in Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. 

McDonald’s uses pork from suppliers who strictly adhere to animal welfare standards in their McRib and breakfast sandwiches.

A variety of meatless choices are also available at McDonald’s, including the McPlant burger, which uses a plant-based patty. 

The McPlant burger, which is now offered in a few locations, was created in collaboration with Beyond Meat.

Overall, McDonald’s pays particular attention to where its meat comes from and collaborates closely with its suppliers to guarantee the highest standards and quality are reached.

Frequently Asked Questions

McDonald's Spicy McNuggets chicken nuggets

Does McDonald’s use real beef in their burgers?

Yes, McDonald’s uses 100% real beef in their burgers. According to their official website, their burgers are made only with USDA-inspected beef with no fillers, additives, or preservatives. The only thing ever added is a touch of salt and pepper on the grill.

Where does McDonald’s get their meat from?

McDonald’s sources its meat from USDA-approved and certified suppliers and farmers. They have a strict process to ensure that their meat is safe and meets all USDA standards. They do not source their meat from China.

Is McDonald’s meat safe to eat?

Yes, McDonald’s meat is safe to eat. They have a rigorous food safety program that includes regular inspections of their suppliers’ facilities and testing of their products. They also have strict procedures in place to ensure that their meat is cooked to the appropriate temperature and handled safely.

Does McDonald’s use hormones or antibiotics in their meat?

McDonald’s does not use hormones in their beef. However, they do use antibiotics to treat and prevent disease in their animals. According to their website, they follow strict guidelines and regulations set by the USDA and FDA to ensure that their meat is safe and free from harmful residues.

Does McDonald’s offer vegetarian or vegan options?

Yes, McDonald’s offers several vegetarian and vegan options, including the McVegan burger, which is made with a soy-based patty, and the Filet-O-Fish, which can be made without the fish and tartar sauce for a vegetarian option.

mcdonald's fried chicken and burger on a tray


In summary, McDonald’s purchases its beef from a variety of American, Canadian, New Zealandian, and Australian farms and ranches. 

To guarantee the safety and purity of its beef, the company has put in place stringent quality control procedures. 

Before the patties are processed in a big meat grinder, they are examined for purity. Additionally, no chicken treated with human antibiotics is used by the company. 

McDonald’s does not utilize any fillers or additives; they only use 100% actual beef.

McDonald’s buys a substantial amount of beef in bulk, passing the savings on to customers. 

Because they know they can maintain their pricing relatively low by buying in bulk and transferring those savings onto the customer, the company doesn’t price like a restaurant.


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  1. Thank you kindly, I honestly wouldn’t eat beef anymore…. But I believe this has helped. Maybe I will stop at a McDonald’s

  2. The first time I had a Mc Donald’s burger I thought there was something different about it and assumed they used soy additives. Years later I met someone who worked at a plant that supplied burgers to McDonald’s and asked if they were really all beef. He confirmed that they were. Heifer navels, and other scrap pieces of meat. All ground up they are meat scraps formed into a grisle burger.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.