We all love a McDonald’s right? I mean, we certainly do in this house; I love their Chicken Selects, wraps and chicken burgers. Adam loves their Big Mac or even a Quarter Pounder and the kids are mostly still into Happy Meals, with the occasional branching out onto the more ‘grown up burger’ instead of a Happy Meal for Reuben.
The truth is though, there are a lot of misconceptions about McDonald’s; we all know it’s a treat, something that we can all enjoy together every so often, but quite often I assume “treat” means it’s probably not made from very high quality ingredients. Chances are you have thought it too about McDonald’s and it’s so cheap – surely it can’t be made from “the good stuff”?
Well, McDonald’s invited me to come along to one of their factories in Scunthorpe to investigate exactly what goes into their burgers. I wanted to know what kind of beef it was, how they ensured it was of the highest quality, where it came from – the works.
OSI, who is one of the key suppliers and beef burger producers to McDonald’s, has partnered with McDonald’s for generations and in fact it started life as a small butcher’s shop, gradually growing to be the supplier that it is today. Throughout years and years of partnership, OSI and McDonald’s have nailed making the humble burger, supplying thousands of products for you to eat every day.
Upon arriving at the factory we were given a quick debriefing and I was really surprised by how thorough they were – from checking that the screws in my glasses were in place, . We were suited and booted, given hair nets and taken to the wash room before making our way on to the factory floor.
The first thing I picked up on is how sterile the whole place is; it was all stainless steel and spotless with signs everywhere reminding staff to wash their hands, keep a clean environment and follow protocol.
When it came to the important part, we were shown the beef, told what part of the animal it is from (forequarter and flank) and watched the process of a burger being made so we could see exactly what went in… and you know what it was? 100% beef and absolutely NOTHING else. Not overly fatty beef, but with a measured fat content of 20%. And all their beef comes from British or Irish farmers who adhere to the high-quality Red Tractor assured standards (or similar). Having seen the meat I can confirm that it is exactly like the meat you might pick up in a supermarket.
The precision in which everything is made was not only interesting but as a mother, it was reassuring to see when I have two little boys who have decided that they like burgers now. I don’t want them eating anything that isn’t high quality – even when it’s their treat.
From the Big Mac burgers to the Happy Meal burger, everything goes through the same process, whether it’s the taste testing that they perform every hour on various batches, or the freezing process that holds the beef together.
Once we had been through the factory and learnt about the provenance of the beef and the process of making a burger for McDonald’s, I headed off to the nearest restaurant and learnt how to make my very own Big Mac! Honestly, I was ridiculously excited – the standard is HIGH and I was so surprised by how clean and quick everything was. McDonald’s is setting high standards and they are achieving awards for their procedures, quality and care.
I guess as a mum the top things I wanted to be reassured about and, in turn, reassure you about, is that McDonald’s beef burgers are high quality products that make a tasty treat for my kids and they haven’t got anything in them that I wouldn’t be happy to make at home for them or myself. No additives, no preservatives and nothing but beef and seasoning.
As a total side note to the quality of their beef, I wanted to let you know that I tried their veggie wrap whilst at the restaurant too and I had no idea that it was so good! There really is something for everyone!