McDonald’s USA Announces Big Changes to its Food

August 01, 2016

Latest efforts further company’s journey to build a better McDonald’s

McDonald’s USA today announced a number of moves across its menu as the company continues to evolve. This includes:

  • removing artificial preservatives from several items which also don’t have artificial colors or flavors, including its iconic Chicken McNuggets. Across its breakfast menu, the pork sausage patties and omelet-style eggs served on McGriddles, Bagel and Biscuit breakfast sandwiches, along with the scrambled eggs on its breakfast platters, also now have no artificial preservatives.
  • rolling out new buns this month that no longer contain high fructose corn syrup, including the buns used on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sandwiches. The Artisan roll introduced in 2015 never contained high fructose corn syrup.
  • completing a major commitment to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine* nearly a year ahead of schedule.

In total, these changes touch ingredients in nearly half of the food on McDonald’s menu.

“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, McDonald’s USA. “We’re making changes to ensure the food we’re proud of is food our customers love and feel good eating, and we remain committed to our continuing food journey at McDonald’s.”
McDonald’s originally set out to achieve its antibiotics chicken commitment by March 2017.Through a collaborative effort with its suppliers and farmers on a large scale, the company was able to make this change a reality and bring it to its customers nearly a year ahead of schedule. Now every chicken item McDonald’s serves is made from chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine, including its new Chicken McNuggets.
“I applaud efforts such as those undertaken by McDonald’s in close collaboration with its suppliers and poultry farmers, to greatly reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in its animal agricultural food supply chain,” said Dr. H Morgan Scott, professor of epidemiology in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University. “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. 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.”
These changes are the latest in a series of actions McDonald’s has taken across its restaurants and kitchens, such as:

  • making an industry leading commitment in September 2015 to source 100% cage-free eggs by 2025 in the U.S and Canada. According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than 100 companies have since announced their commitments to do the same, showing positive impact across the industry.
  • refreshing McDonald’s premium salad blend in June 2015 by replacing iceberg lettuce with fresh romaine, baby spinach and baby kale, and making further enhancements in June 2016 with the addition of Tuscan red leaf lettuce and ribbon-cut carrot curls. The freshly prepared Premium Salads offer at least 2.5 cups of vegetables.
  • revitalizing its classic Egg McMuffin, moving from margarine to 100% real butter*, and continuing to serve a fresh cracked Grade A egg at the center of it all.
  • sourcing milk in its low fat milk jugs and Go-GURT® low fat yogurt from cows not treated with rbST*, an artificial growth hormone.
  • introducing Buttermilk Crispy Chicken in August 2015, made with 100% chicken breast filet, real buttermilk and a blend of spices including black pepper, garlic and onion powder. This followed the introduction of Artisan Grilled Chicken in March 2015.

McDonald’s continues to innovate its menu to include new tastes and ingredients that customers are looking for, such as turkey sausage, guacamole made with real Hass avocados, Sriracha and freshly prepared pico de gallo as part of local tests 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, RDN, director of culinary innovation, McDonald’s Corporation. “Our focus on culinary innovation at McDonald’s 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:

  • Gilroy Garlic Fries in the San Francisco Bay area, where McDonald’s world famous fries are hand tossed in stainless steel bowls with a purée mix including garlic from Gilroy, California, olive oil, parmesan cheese, parsley and a pinch of salt
  • Old Bay Filet-O-Fish sandwich 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

As a restaurant company, McDonald’s prepares quality food in its kitchens and has served iconic recipes for more than 60 years. Today, that same focus and care for its food matters more than ever. For more information, visit
*Farmers still use ionophores, a class of antibiotics that are not prescribed to people, to help keep chickens healthy. 
*Applies to all breakfast sandwiches
* No significant difference shown between milk from rbST-treated and non-rbST treated cows. 
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