Is McDonald’s Processed Food? Myth Busted

You can find many tasty food options at McDonald’s. Their food is very delicious, but do you know if it is McDonald’s processed food? And if so, what health consequences does that have for consumers? Let’s find out.

Is McDonald's Processed Food

Yes, most of the menu items at McDonald’s are considered processed food. This includes chicken patties, beef patties, soft drinks, and French fries. These food items go through multiple processes, giving them a longer shelf life. 

Visiting the golden arches occasionally is fine, but regular consumption of processed food can be dangerous. Many people find McDonald’s food so good, but these foods are high in calories, sodium, and fat. Consuming it occasionally should be a healthy approach.

Keep reading the blog to know which items are processed food at McDonald’s and how they are processed. I will also share some critical points on processed food to help you make the best health choices. 

Yes, McDonald’s Food Is Processed!

Yes, McDonald’s Food Is Processed

Yes, McDonald’s food is processed, and the reason behind this is that the chain serves fast food, which is quickly cooked and served, so the raw ingredients they use tend to be highly processed.  

This gives processed foods a long shelf life, and the quality remains unchanged for extended periods. Moreover, processed foods are quick to make. So, it tells you the bitter truth, McDonald’s food is processed. 

For example, their beef patties are made from ground beef and contain other ingredients like flavorings, stabilizers, and preservatives. These frozen patties keep for months and can be cooked quickly on the grill.

In fact, their chicken nuggets and other chicken items also use processed meat. The chicken is chopped, formed into nugget shapes, and added with additives before being frozen and breaded. So, these nuggets hold their shape during frying. 

Looking at the bigger picture, each food item McDonald’s offers on its official menu is processed. 

Is McDonald’s Hamburger Processed?

Yes, McDonald’s hamburgers are processed. The beef that goes into the hamburger goes through extensive processing before it’s formed into patties and frozen. 

McDonald’s beef comes from several suppliers, including New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. The fast-food chain says that its beef is processed at the facility center of the supplier. 

McDonald’s beef patty is made with sirloin, chuck, and round and added with preservatives and other additives for flavor enhancement. Later, they are formed into hamburger-shaped patties and shipped to McDonald’s. You can also make the exact McDonald’s hamburger at home and prepare it preservatives-free.  

Is McDonald’s Chicken Processed?

Yes, McDonald’s chicken is processed. They don’t take raw chicken and cook it as is. The chicken breast meat and thighs are processed in several ways. The chicken undergoes a mixing process with seasonings and other additives. 

For example, the chicken used in chicken nuggets is first ground and combined with additives like fillers and binders. Then this mixture is then formed into iconic shapes. Various breading and batter coating are applied to the chicken. Lastly, these breaded chicken goes under high-temperature frying, then packed in plastic bags and frozen for weeks. 

After all these processes, the frozen chicken is shipped to McDonald’s restaurants. Their chicken patties are also prepared in the same manner as their nuggets. So yes! Their chicken is processed food.

You can find various chicken varieties from McDonald’s, such as their famous chicken nuggets, McChicken burger, and easy McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwich, which you can try making at home.    

Is McDonald’s Beef Processed?

Is McDonald's Beef Processed

Yes, McDonald’s beef is processed. McDonald’s patties are made using industrial machinery. The chain operates extensive meat processing facilities, including one of its biggest in Germany. The beef is put through the giant meat grinder and formed into patties. 

McDonald’s buys beef from various suppliers across the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. The fast-food chain’s oldest beef meat supplier is Lopez Foods, and they have been supplying beef for the past 30 years to the golden arches. 

Most ground beef is made with chuck, sirloin, and round. Everything is grounded in the machinery. Then the preservatives and stabilizers are added to the mixture for its longevity. Later, these patties are shaped in the machinery, packed in plastic bags, and frozen. So, McDonald’s beef is processed. 

Are McDonald’s French Fries Processed? 

Yes, McDonald’s French fries are processed. Although they are made with real potatoes, several processes are involved before it reaches you. The potatoes are peeled, cut, fried, and frozen at a particular temperature. 

The farmers at the McDonald’s production facility supply the raw potatoes. The potatoes are peeled, cut into strips, and blanched at the factory. A high-speed water jet knife slices the potatoes up to 70 miles per hour. 

The cut fries are then dipped in the mixture and coated well. This dip contains dextrose and other additives. Next, the fries go through a partial frying process. The strips are first fried to make the exterior crispy. However, they still need to be fully cooked. 

After partial frying, these fries are frozen and shipped to McDonald’s locations. Employees finish cooking the fries by thoroughly frying them to complete orders. So, this process involves processing fries at the golden arches. If you want to make delicious and crispy French fries at home, you can follow the recipe to make copycat fries.    

Are McDonald’s Soft Drinks Processed Food?

Yes, McDonald’s soft drinks are processed food. The chain gets its soda syrup in stainless steel containers other than plastic bags. Then the syrup and water undergo a filtration method. 

So, McDonald’s gets their syrup, especially in stainless steel tanks which keeps the syrup fresh and protects it from light, temperature, and air. Later on, McDonald’s filters its water before they add it to the soda fountain.

McDonald’s takes extra care with their soda to ensure a great taste. They pre-chill the syrup before putting it in the soda machines. This means the syrup is cold and ready when mixed.

McDonald’s also programs their machines for the perfect syrup-to-water ratio. They add a little more syrup than usual to account for ice melting. This ensures the Coke taste remains strong and consistent from the first sip to the last. So, all these processes are involved in processing the Coke at McDonald’s. 

Is Processed Food Good For Our Body?

Is Processed Food Good For Our Body

No, high consumption of processed food is not suitable for our bodies. It contains unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, fat, and sodium, contributing to weight gain, heart disease, and other health problems. 

Highly processed food, such as frozen foods, have the least amount of healthy ingredients and are higher in calories, fat, salt, and added sugar. Moreover, there are few nutrients because the nutrients die in the processing method. This is also why McDonald’s food is not suitable for our bodies.  

When food begins to be processed, it simply means it has changed from its natural status. They are processed by adding preservatives and additives to make them shelf-stable. 

When relishing any food item at McDonald’s, check out the nutrition information for each food item and choose accordingly. This can keep you up with your health goals consequently. 


It’s a wrap! We discovered that most of the menu items at McDonald’s are processed foods from burgers to sandwiches, fries to soft drinks; McDonald’s processes everything for its longer shelf-life. 

Even the buns, sauces, and condiments have preservatives and other additives. Most juices, sodas, and milkshakes are made from syrups and processed to keep them shelf-stable.

As discussed in the blog, consuming more processed foods can harm your health and cause serious health issues. Limiting this processed food intake and focusing more on minimally processed or no processed food is a healthy approach. 

Readers have many questions regarding other specifications of McDonald’s, such as what kind of eggs McDonald’s uses, the oil they use for frying, and the type of fish they add to their sandwiches. You can find all the answers to these critical questions on our blog. Have a great day! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do all McDonald’s use processed food?

Yes, McDonald’s uses processed food. They use processed beef patties, chicken, French fries, and soft drinks.

Is McDonald’s burger processed?

Yes, McDonald’s burgers are processed food. It uses processed beef patties which are frozen and shipped to McDonald’s restaurants in bulk. 

Is fast food considered processed food?

Fast food has become a staple food for all of us. It’s a processed food, and one should limit fast food intake as it can be dangerous to health.

How healthy is McDonald’s food?

The McDonald’s menu contains maximum fat content and is also high in sodium. Also, McDonald’s food items are processed food and frozen for months. It’s not fresh enough and is made with added preservatives and additives. Therefore, McDonald’s food is not considered healthy.

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