Fresh meat at McDonald’s a farce?

Fresh meat at McDonald’s a farce?

The fast food chain McDonald’s is now preparing its burgers in Texas with fresh minced meat - instead of frozen goods as before. McDonald’s is responding to competitors like Wendy’s, Shake Shack and In-N-Out who use fresh meat.

An image problem

McDonald’s is the market leader among fast food restaurants, but it has an image problem. For consumer critics, the chain is the epitome of unhealthy “junk food” and a symbol of the capitalist exploitation of people and nature.

A new nutritional life style: clean eating instead of junk food is modern. Smaller fast-food restaurants jumped on this trend early and combined fast food with health: smoothies to go or salads in whole grain bread conquered the American market.

McDonald’s followed these trends, but was unable to create a new “clean food” image. More and more consumers switched to smaller snack chains.

Comparative advertising is allowed in the United States, and Wendyś mocks McDonald’s frozen patties. They are at most suitable as a throwing stick or beer mat - but not for eating.

The Dallas experiment
Nowhere else in the United States does people eat as much beef per capita as in Texas, and competitions for the best steaks are part of national culture. McDonald’s started the fresh meat experiment in the “Den of the Lion” - in 14 restaurants in Dallas.

Quality burger
Burger restaurants that offer freshly prepared burgers - with organic meat or meat from Galloway - and Aberdeen Angus cattle - make McDonald's compete with quality burgers.

Today there is a separate scene between classic restaurants and fast food for the masses. Such grill rooms use fresh meat, fresh salad and offer creations such as Gorgonzala burger with pear or veggie burger in home-made whole-grain ciabatta bread.

Although they have their price, they are usually neither salted nor sugar-coated and over-greased like the products from McDonald’s, Wendyś or Burger King. Consumers now know that fast food and the like: modern nutrition favors obesity.

Fresh meat for mass production?

Does fresh meat make any sense for mass processing of customers? Consumer advocates generally warn of massive damage to health from fast food. Accordingly, fast food leads to allergies, promotes neurodermatitis and asthma, contains far too much salt, sugar, fats and calories, and sometimes dangerous additives. Although McDonald’s did the best in a test of the unhealthy fast food chains, it is also difficult to check fresh meat here.

Fresh minced meat is very susceptible to bacteria - in contrast to the shock-frozen patties. In addition, fresh meat does not contain more nutrients than that frozen using modern methods.

The burger chain Chipotle Mexican Grill in the USA involuntarily demonstrated the disadvantages of fresh ingredients in fast food restaurants: customers consumed salmonella, coli bacteria and noroviruses in tacos and burritos.

However, if McDonald’s switches to fresh minced meat, it will cost many millions because the group would have to restructure its entire supply chain and production structure. Fresh meat doesn't last either: what customers don't consume in a day has to go. This is another reason why a changeover is expensive.

The general question is: Can a mass supply of customers comply with the hygiene standards for fresh minced meat? (Dr.Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

Video: Cooking Fresh Quarter Pounder at McDonalds in Akron, Ohio